Mozambique: Palma Journalist Still Missing

(File photo).

Palma community radio journalist Ibraimo Mbaruco is still missing after he was kidnapped, apparently by military, on 7 April. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other organisations and Mozambican journalists have issued statements .

Also on 14 April, police in Pemba detained Hizidine Acha, a reporter for O Pais newspaper and the STV television station, forcing him to delete images of police beating and whipping people in the Paquetiquete neighbourhood of the city. Spokesperson Guta told Zitamar that the situation had been a misunderstanding and that the police were not beating or whipping people. (Zitamar 15 Apr) But the police did not realise that others were also filming the incident. The photo shows Acha in the white shorts on the left, and a soldier with his arm raised beating the man on the ground. If is much clearer in the video:

There is a climate of tension in both Palma and Pemba, which both have unofficial 19h00 curfews. After the occupation by insurgents of Mocimboa da Praia, Palma fears it may be next, and after the occupation of Quissanga, Pemba fears it may be next.

The fear is contagious. In Palma on Wednesday (15 April) a bus rushing to take workers to the Total camp at Afungi overtook another vehicle just as it passed a military armoured car. The soldiers shot at the bus, shooting out all the windows, but not injuring any of the occupants. (Carta de Mocambique 17 Apr)

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