Regional forces in Mozambique combating jihadist violence have opened an investigation after a video on social media revealed soldiers pitching dead bodies onto a pile of burning rubble, said the South African army (SANDF).
The command “is conducting an investigation into the involvement of its members in this despicable act”, said in a press release the SANDF which sent troops to Mozambique. “The culprits will be brought to justice.”
The widely shared footage shows soldiers throwing corpses into a fire where at least one other body is already burned. One of them pours liquid on the body while others, including one bearing the South African army sign, watch and film the scene with mobile phones.
The first opposition party in South Africa (DA) described in a press release these acts as “shame” for the country, recalling the existence of international rules for the treatment of the dead “even in conflict zones”.
The province of Cabo Delgado (northeast) has been plagued by jihadist violence since 2017 which has already killed nearly 4,500 people, including nearly 2,000 civilians, according to the NGO ACLED which collects data in conflict zones. . The violence also caused the flight of a million people, according to the UN.
More than 3,000 African soldiers have been deployed in 2021, in the poor and predominantly Muslim region on the border with Tanzania, in support of the Mozambican army. The violence has decreased in intensity but sporadic attacks continue.