Maputo — Mozambican Defence Minister Jaime Neto claimed on Wednesday that some of those involved in producing videos which supposedly show the Mozambican defence and security forces committing atrocities have been identified, and he promised that action will be taken against them.
Neto was speaking the day after Interior Minister Amade Miquidade had announced that the government is investigating the origin of the videos. He said the government wants to find “where the nucleus is that is making these videos”.
Several videos have circulated in recent days claiming to show Mozambican troops committing torture, summary execution and other human rights abuses. The human rights organisation Amnesty International publicised some of them, and called for an investigation.
Several Mozambican organisations, including the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), and the Mozambican Bar Association (OAM), have also called for a full inquiry.
The government, however, believes the videos are fakes, shot in order to denigrate the defence and security forces.
Speaking after he had launched a week of commemorations of the anniversary of the start of the independence war, on 25 September 1964, Neto said investigations into the videos are under way.
“Some Mozambicans make and assemble these images and send them abroad”, he accused. “We know who they are. We shall expose them one day, and we shall pick them up because they are attacking the Mozambican nation”.
Neto said the main challenge the defence and security forces face is to resist the attacks by islamist terrorists in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. Since the first terrorist raids, in October 2017, hundreds of people have died, and around 200,000 have been displaced from their homes.
“The challenge we face is to combat and eliminate terrorism”, said Neto. “The men and women on the battle field are making all manner of sacrífices to overcome the challenges. We are under attack from forces whose intentions we do not know, but we are determined to defeat terrorism”.