SAMIM INVESTIGATES BURNING OF ENEMY CORPSES
Maputo, 11 Jan (AIM) – The Military Mission in Mozambique of the Southern African Development Community (SAMIM) announced on Tuesday that it has set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances in which soldiers, apparently from the South African armed forces, burnt the bodies of dead terrorists in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
A video circulating on social media shows soldiers, one of whom has a South African flag on his armband, throwing two bodies onto a bonfire, believed to be of goods seized from a terrorist camp.
A note from SAMIM said that the Mission is trying to determine the authenticity of the video. A spokesperson for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Brigadier General Andries Mokoena Mahapa said the ‘despicable act’ possibly took place in last year in the Cabo Delgado district of Nangade.
‘The SANDF does not condone in any way the acts committed in the video and those who are found guilty of such acts will be brought to book,’ Mahapa said in a statement.
He explained, however, the incident was being investigated by SAMIM rather than the SANDF because it is SAMIM that oversees the military mission in Mozambique.
John Stupart, Director of African Defence Review, cited by the German agency DW Africa, said ‘The incident is believed, but not yet confirmed, to have occurred in the aftermath of a successful attack on an insurgent stronghold, which left 30 enemy combatants dead”.
He called it ‘completely unacceptable’ and added, ‘to treat bodies with respect is enshrined in international laws on war. It’s also explicitly mentioned in SANDF’s own Standard Operating Procedures for Mozambique.’