August 29, 2016
- On July 30, a group of armed men who identified themselves as RENAMO raided a clinic in the village of Mopeia, in Zambezia province, in the middle of the night. A doctor who visited the clinic the following day said the gunmen burned patients’ medical records and stole vaccines, syringes, and medicines. The clinic stores essential medicines, including antiretroviral medicines for HIV/AIDS patients, for a population of over 8,000 people, he said.
- The armed men then went to Mopeia’s main hospital, about eight kilometers from the clinic. According ot a nurse present, they entered the ward where patients were sleeping, threatened patients and medical staff, ordering them to leave the hospital, and carried away medicines, serum bags, bed sheets, and mosquito nets. The nurse said none of the patients or medical staff were hurt.
- On July 31, about a dozen armed men who identified themselves as RENAMO attacked the local health clinic in the village of Maiaca, in the northern province of Niassa. They took five kits of HIV tests, four boxes of syringes, and over 600 vials of penicillin.
Mozambican authorities say that RENAMO gunmen have carried out similar attacks on health clinics over the past month in Sofala, Manica, and Tete provinces, in central Mozambique, but Human Rights Watch was not able to verify those reports.
The RENAMO party, which has offices in the capital, Maputo, has neither confirmed nor denied carrying out the attacks. However, party leader Afonso Dhlakama, who is in hiding, told the Mozambican television station STV on August 5 that he had given orders to attack some areas of Zambezia province. He did not specify the targets or mention medical facilities. Dhlakama said the attacks were a “military strategy” aimed at dispersing government soldiers who are surrounding RENAMO positions in Gorongosa bush, about 200 kilometers south of the villages that were attacked. Several districts of Tete, Zambezia, Manica, Sofala, and Niassa provinces have had recent armed clashes between government forces and Renamo fighters.
Response Human Rights Watch
Source: Human Rights Watch news article