Human Rights

International Statement on the current situation in Mozambique

The undersigning international organizations express concern about massive displacements and widespread violence in the Mozambican countryside and call the Mozambican government and the international community to respect and protect the rights of the Mozambican peasants.

The National Union of Mozambican Peasants (UNAC for the abbreviation in Portuguese) issued a press release on February 13, 2014 condemning killings, massive forced displacements and the general climate of violence that the Mozambican rural population is increasingly facing. UNAC expresses grave concern about the deterioration of peace that was achieved in Mozambique 21 years ago after a civil war that lasted 16 years. According to testimonies received by UNAC from its members in affected regions, the widespread attacks and military clashes between alleged armed men of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) and the Mozambican military forces are severely affecting not only the security of the Mozambican peasants but also their ability to till their lands and to attend to their agricultural activities - all of this with serious impacts on the upcoming harvest and the food sovereignty of Mozambique. In particular, UNAC highlights the situation of  69,000 peasant families (approximately 345,000 persons) directly and indirectly affected by forced displacement, harassments and threats in the following areas: Machanga, Chibabava, Maringué, Gorongosa, Nhamatanda and Dondo districts in Sofala province; Moatize district in Tete province; Macossa em Manica, Rapale and Mecuburi in Nampula province; Homoine, Funhalouro and Vilanculos in Inhambane province.

We, the undersigned organisations, have been monitoring since 2009 the human rights situation of peasants in Mozambique and the developments in the field of agriculture and rural development. We are extremely concerned that the widespread systematic violations of the economic and social rights of the Mozambican peasants due to development projects can further deteriorate. The escalation of conflicts in the country threatens peace and the social fabric of Mozambican society.

We therefore support UNAC’s call to the combatants/armed parties to immediately stop all hostilities, give up the armed struggle and come back to an inclusive and democratic mechanism of dialogue to resolve conflicts.

According to UNAC, there are several reports by eye witnesses and media on threats and harassments against civilians in the country as well as on arbitrary detentions and even killings of civilians. However, due to a lack of independent information about the events occurred in the country during the last months, the number of people allegedly having been arrested or killed cannot be confirmed. So far, there has been no investigation of the reported incidents, thus leading to a situation of impunity that increases the vulnerability of the Mozambican population.

We therefore call upon the government of Mozambique to allow for an independent investigation of the events since the breakout of the hostilities, and particularly all reports on threats, arrests, killings and human rights violations over the last months.

The current armed conflict between Renamo and the Mozambican army is a breach of the 1992 Rome Peace Accord that put an end to Mozambique’s 16 years of civil war. The peace negotiations involved the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union as observers. We therefore call upon the international community, particularly the United Nations, African Union, and European Union,to engage with the government of Mozambique in ending current hostilities in Mozambique and initiate an investigation of the  reported human rights violations.

Moreover, we urge the Mozambican state and the international community to respect and protect the rights of the Mozambican peasants by reviewing the current development strategy, taking particularly into account the views of Mozambican peasants as contained, for instance, in the Plano Nacional de Apoio a AgriculturaCamponesa developed by UNAC.

Signed by

ACTUAR - Associação para a Cooperação e o Desenvolvimento, Portugal

Africa Japan Forum, Japan

African Biodiversity Network

Articulação dos Empregados Rurais do estado de Minas Gerais - ADERE/MG, Brazil

Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil - APIB, Brazil

Associação Brasileira de Estudantes de Engenharia Florestal - ABEEF, Brazil

ATTAC Japan

Centro de Estudios para el Cambio en el Campo Mexicano (CECCAM), Mexico

Centre for Sustainable Development, Iran

Centro Internationale Crocevia, Italy

Concerned Citizen Group with the Development of Mozambique-Japan, Japan

Conselho Indigenista Missionário - CIMI, Brazil

Comissão Pastoral da Terra - CPT, Brazil

Coordenação Nacional de Articulação das Comunidades Negras Rurais Quilombolas -

CONAQ, Brazil

Entidade Nacional dos Estudantes de Biologia - ENEBio, Brazil

Federação dos Estudantes de Agronomia do Brasil - FEAB, Brazil

Federação de Órgãos para Assistência Social e Educacional (FASE), Brazil

FIAN International

FIAN Netherlands

GRAIN, International

Instituto de Estudos Socioeconomicos (INESC), Brazil

Japão International Volunteer Center (JVC)

La Via Campesina Brazil

La Via Campesina, International

Landless People Movement, South Africa

Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra - MST, Brazil

Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens - MAB, Brazil

Movimento dos Pequenos Agricultores - MPA, Brazil

Movimento de Pescadores e Pescadoras Artesanais - MPP, Brazil

Movimento de Mulheres Camponesas - MMC, Brazil

Movimento dos Atingidos pela Mineração - MAM, Brazil

National Fisheries Solidarity Movement, Sri Lanka

No! to land grab, Japan

Pastoral da Juventude Rural - PJR, Brazil

REDSAN-CPLP (Civil Society Regional Network for Food Security and Nutrition in the Community of Portuguese Speaking countries)

Space Allies, Japan

Tanzania Network for Biodiversity

Terra Nuova, Italy

The Surplus People Project, South Africa

Transnational Institute (TNI), Netherlands

War on Want, United Kingdom

World Development Movement, United Kingdom

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