Mozambique: Renamo Wants Parliamentary Commission To Investigate Human Rights Abuses

Entering Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique.

Maputo — The parliamentary group of Mozambique's main opposition party, Renamo, has submitted a resolution to the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, to set up a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry charged with investigating human rights violations in the northern provinces of Cabo Delgado and Niassa and the central provinces of Manica and Sofala.

The Renamo document explaining why such a commission is needed mentions a range of abuses allegedly committed by members of the defence and security forces, but says nothing at all about the beheadings, kidnappings and other atrocities undoubtedly committed by Islamic terrorists in Cabo Delgado.

It also completely ignores the lethal ambushes on the main roads in Manica and Sofala carried out by the self-styled "Renamo Military Junta".

These omissions are strange, since the Renamo leadership has no sympathy for Islamic fundamentalism, and has repeatedly urged the Military Junta to lay down its arms and join the current demobilisation of the Renamo militia.

The one-sided nature of the resolution almost certainly guarantees that the majority Frelimo Party will vote against it.

The Commission Renamo proposes is very large, consisting of 17 deputies (11 from Frelimo, five from Renamo, and one from the Mozambique Democratic Movement, MDM), assisted by a secretariat of five people. The Commission, the resolution says, should visit nine cities and districts in Cabo Delgado, six in Sofala, six in Manica, and the Niassa provincial capital, Lichinga.

The logistics of moving such a cumbersome commission around 22 districts and cities would prove extremely expensive. Despite the enormous amount of work involved in a serious investigation, the Renamo resolution gives the commission just 90 days before it must file a final report.

The resolution was clearly submitted late, since it does not figure on the draft agenda for the forthcoming sitting of the Assembly, due to begin on 15 October.

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