FILE PHOTO - For illustration purposes only. [File photo: Lusa]
The Monitoring Forum of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review Mechanism for Human Rights in Mozambique has suggested the creation of a special court for Cabo Delgado, which should judge cases of human rights violations in that province.
“We advise the government to create, as a matter of urgency, a special court for Cabo Delgado, which will allow all acts of human rights violations that occur to have their own jurisdiction,” said Sousa Chele, director of the forum, quoted by daily newspaper Notícias on Monday.
The forum aid the court should be able to contribute to the “safeguarding of human rights” and try terrorists and members of the armed forces who have committed offences against fundamental rights.
“This will prevent that, for example, when a terrorist leader is captured and tried in a common court, the lawyer will defend him with the argument that it is not his jurisdiction,” said Sousa Chele.
In addition to a special court, the human rights monitoring forum also called for clarification on the entry of foreign troops from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Rwanda to support the country in combating armed groups in Cabo Delgado.
Several national and international reports have warned of human rights violations in the conflict in Cabo Delgado, pointing to government forces and armed groups as the authors of these violations.
Since July, an offensive by government troops, with the support of Rwanda, which SADC later joined, increased security and recovered several areas where there were rebels, including the town of Mocímboa da Praia, which had been occupied since August 2020.
The province of Cabo Delgado is rich in natural gas but terrorised since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.
The conflict has led to more than 3,100 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project, and more than 817,000 displaced people, according to Mozambican authorities.