Africa: Statement of the AUC Special Envoy on Women, Peace And Security on the Situaton in Mozambique

press release

The Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission is following with great concern the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Palma and other districts of Mozambique's northern province of Cabo Delgado and the impact on women and girls.

The Special Envoy on Women, Peace And Security, Bineta Diop, echoes the statement of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, issued on 31 March 2021 and the worldwide condemnation of the violence and resulting displacement of populations that have left more than 714,000 of people displaced, largely women and girls, with an increase in cases of human rights violations, including sexual and gender-based violence, large numbers of children out of school and a spiralling humanitarian crisis. Recent reports reveal that women and young adolescent girls have been increasingly abducted and coerced to play the role as ideologues, facilitators, fund-raisers, and recruiters for the terrorist group.

The Special Envoy appeals to the Government of Mozambique, the regional bodies and international community to act swiftly and provide adequate support to the displaced people, especially women, adolescents and children.

The Special Envoy calls for the specific and differentiated needs of the most vulnerable, especially women and girls, to be adequately addressed in not only the immediate humanitarian assistance but also in the long-term peacebuilding, development and socioeconomic recovery strategies and plans. She also calls for enhanced support to Mozambique to address internal factors that may negatively impact the youth, women and communities in the affected region.

The Special Envoy urges the Mozambican authorities to conduct an in-depth investigation into reports of women's human rights violations, declare zero-tolerance to any form of sexual and gender-based violence and reinforce efforts to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.

The Special Envoy strongly condemns these ignoble atrocities and expresses her solidarity with the Government and the People of Mozambique and pledges her continuous support to national efforts, including through women-led organizations and networks.

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