Maputo — Members of the Mozambican armed forces (FADM) have been accused of murder and rape in the northern city of Nampula, according to a report on the independent television station STV.
The incident began on Sunday afternoon when a pregnant woman and her 14 year old daughter were collecting firewood near a barracks in the Mutava Rex neighbourhood. On the way home they were stopped by soldiers, who forced them to stop collecting wood on the grounds that the area is restricted.
They obliged the girl to leave her bundle of firewood in the barracks. On the way back, at sunset, according to the victim, one of the soldiers raped her.
When she told her father, he went to the barracks where he had an angry argument with the soldier believed to have raped his daughter. The following day four soldiers, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, left the barracks and went looking for the father.
An angry group of local residents confronted the soldiers, who then fled back towards the barracks. But one of them turned round and opened fire on the crowd, killing a 20 year old youth and injuring a ten year old child.
When an STV team was investigating these events in Muhava Rex, a team from the barracks was also there trying to ascertain what had happened. They approached the family of the murdered man, and told them not to take his body from the morgue until the Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) had carried out an autopsy. The military team refused to be interviewed by STV.
Thanks to STV's intervention the girl was taken to Nampula Central Hospital, where she was given preventive treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. The wounded ten year old was also in the hospital, but his injuries are not serious and doctors expected to discharge him on Wednesday.
STV contacted the Nampula Military Command which refused to give any statement. The police promised to react on Wednesday.