1. SANDF to investigate burning of corpses


A team from the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) left for Pemba in Mozambique on Friday to investigate an

incident in which the bodies of alleged rebels were burnt, the images of which were shared on social media.

The video, showing soldiers throwing bodies on to a burning pile of rubbish, was shared last week. Two unidentified

soldiers were shown throwing another body on to the fire, while an SANDF member was seen briefly on the screen.

Major General Sandile Hlongwa, commander of joint operations headquarters in Pretoria, told City Press that

representatives from the defence information unit, the joint operations and the army’s legal department were part

of the team. Asked if at least one South African special forces soldier, recognisable by his uniform in the video, would

be sent home, Hlongwa said a decision would be made once more facts were obtained. It was still not clear who gave

the soldiers the order to burn the bodies.


The video is believed to have been recorded by a soldier attached to the Southern African Development Community

mission in Mozambique, made the headlines last week. Two soldiers can be seen hurling a corpse on to a pile where

several other bodies, equipment, pots and pans lay.

The 1949 Geneva Convention prohibits the violation of dead soldiers’ bodies. However, it also stipulates that the

burning of corpses can be considered for hygienic reasons only.

According to sources who follow the skirmishes between the insurgents and the Mozambican forces, the video was

most likely taken shortly after a joint force attack on one of the insurgents’ bases close to Nkonga village, one of the

strongholds of the insurgents in Cabo Delgado province.

The insurgents had reportedly attacked a Mozambican army control post in the area. The insurgents reportedly shot

down one of the SAMIM drones, while a soldier each from the Tanzanian and Botswana armies was killed in the

same skirmish.

The same group of insurgents was reported to have also attacked a convoy of Mozambican soldiers shortly before

the incidents. SAMIM defeated the group in a retaliatory attack and the bodies were allegedly burnt after that.

Namibian President Hage Geingob condemned the incident after the video went viral.

SANDF sends team to Mozambique to probe ‘burning’ of bodies | City Press (news24.com)

In the meantime the Mozambican Network of Human Rights Defenders (RMDDH), a civil society platform led by the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), demands the creation of an Independent Commission to investigate the case of burning bodies in the district of Nangade, Cabo Delgado carried out by SAMIM in November last year. CDD says that an investigation carried out by SAMIM does not guarantee transparency or exemption for placing the SADC mission in a situation of conflict of interest. “SAMIM’s investigation is welcome, but we understand that there is an urgent need to create an independent commission. (…) Only with an independent investigation will it be possible to reach results that allow the accountability of the military involved in that macabre act”, says CDD. According to the RMDDH, at the outset, there is a conflict of interest in the investigation to be conducted by SAMIM, “since we would have SAMIM investigating SAMIM itself”, so “it is unlikely that SAMIM will bring results that compromise its members”.

SAMIM has reacted, having demonstrated its rejection of the act and promised to carry out an investigation to determine responsibilities. However, the Government has not yet commented on the case. “We argue that the Mozambican Government (which is currently in sepulchral silence) should pronounce on this case, taking into account that the SADC troops are in Mozambique at the invitation of the Government”, underlines the RMDDH. “The scenes in the video violate human rights and international humanitarian law. Regardless of whether or not the burned bodies were those responsible for the terrorist attacks in the northern districts of Cabo Delgado, and part of the provinces of Nampula and Niassa, the military are prohibited from acting in the way they acted ” says RMDDH. https://cartamz.com 18 January 2023



2. The legal threat to the UK – Mozambique $20 billion deal has been annulled


A London court has decided that the

UK/Mozambique liquified natural gas exploration

is good to go. The court found this project lawful

after the environmental organization, The

Friends of the Earth appealed to the court to

sanction the project for breach of environmental

regulations. However, the court decided that the

project was compatible with the Paris

Agreement on climate change, and gave the go

ahead to continue. A ruling the environmental

organization described as “extremely

Friends of the Earth protesting UK Mozambique LNG project

disappointing.” Rachel Kennerley, one of the Friends of the Earth climate campaigners stated, “this extremely

disappointing judgment doesn’t alter our firm belief that the UK government should not be supporting the

Mozambique gas project, or any fossil fuel project at home or abroad.”

This entire debacle stems from the fact that the UK Export Finance (UKEF) has pledged to provide direct loans and

guarantees to banks to support the design, build and operation of the $20 billion project. A UKEF spokesperson

stated after the court’s ruling that the company would always take environmental best practice into consideration

before funding any project. “We remain confident that UK Export Finance follows robust and internationally

recognised due diligence before providing any support for overseas projects,” the spokesperson said. A spokesperson for TotalEnergies also agreed with the ruling, noting that the project presents a huge economic

opportunity for the people of Mozambique, while also reiterating that TotalEnergies is also a company that considers

its carbon footprint and is dedicated to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “Will deliver a range of social

and economic benefits to Mozambique and is a key part of Mozambique’s aim to diversify its economy,” the

spokesperson said. TotalEnergies supports the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which calls for reducing

greenhouse gas emissions in the context of sustainable development and the fight against poverty,” the

spokesperson added.





3. Pope projects return to Africa and criticizes exploitation of western world


Jan 13, 2023 – 2:51PM Pope Francis granted interview to the magazine «Mundo Negro», of the Comboni Missionaries

Vatican City, 13 Jan 2023 (Ecclesia) – In an interview regarding his upcoming trip to Africa, the Holy Father questions the continent’s exploitation by the western world.

“This idea that Africa exists to be exploited is the most unfair thing that exists, but it is in the collective unconscious of many people, and it must be changed,” he said in remarks to the Comboni Missionaries magazine ‘Mundo Negro’. The Pope will visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan from January 31 to February 5, after delaying this trip in July 2022 due to physical limitations.

This will be Pope Francis’ 40th international apostolic visit and fifth trip to the African continent, where he was in 2015, 2017 and 2019, twice, having passed, among other countries, through Mozambique.

The Pope recalls that his first “strong contact” with Africa was in Bangui, Central African Republic, in 2015, where he opened the door to the Holy Year of Mercy. “Africa is original, Africa beats us,” he said in an interview at the Vatican. Francis questions what he calls “half-way independence.” “They give them economic independence from the base, but they keep the underground to exploit it, we see the exploitation of the other countries that take their resources,” he said.

On January 31, 2023 Francis heads to Kinshasa, where he will meet with the President of the Republic of the DRC, Félix Tshisekedi, authorities, representatives of civil society and the diplomatic corps. The next day, the Pope presides over Mass at the city’s airport; the agenda provides for two meetings, in the Nunciature, with the victims of violence in eastern DRC and with representatives of some charitable works.

On 2 February, Pope Francis meets with young people and catechists and presides over a moment of prayer with priests, deacons, consecrated persons and seminarians. The Pope leaves for South Sudan the next day, beginning an “ecumenical pilgrimage of peace”, in which he meets with leaders of the Catholic Church, political leaders of the country, internally displaced persons and members of various Christian confessions.

Ecumenical prayer on 4 February and Mass the following day are celebrated at the Mausoleum of John Garang.

“I want to make the trip as soon as possible,” admits the pontiff.

He commented on his itinerary and stressed that the DRC “is currently suffering from the guerrillas, so I’m not going to Goma, I can’t go”, noting that it does so to “take care of people”. The interview addresses the missionary reality and distinguishes evangelization from proselytizing, highlighting the need to “respect cultures”. “The Catholic mission does not proselytise, but proclaims the Gospel according to the culture of each place,” he added. https://agencia.ecclesia.pt/portal/vaticano-papa-projeta-regresso-a-africa-e-critica-exploracao-do-mundo-ocidental/

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