Mozambique Mining: NGO speaks out on mining human rights violations

The organisation ‘Solidarity Mozambique’, cited in a Voa Portugues report published online, has denounced human rights violation in Topuito, Larde district, Nampula province, where Irish mining company Kenmare operates.

According to the NGO, in July of this year, two people in the area were shot dead by alleged members of the armed forces, who the organisation says were guarding the mine at the time.

The executive director of ‘Solidarity Mozambique’, António Mutoa, asks how it is that mining company Kenmare is effectively garrisoned with government forces.

The cause of the fatal incident remains unknown, the organisation says, but it has reported the case to the National Human Rights Commission and the Assembly of the Republic, and is now waiting for their intervention.

One of the victims, besides being shot, was found with signs of beating, his arms and legs tied.

Zacarias Nacute, police spokesman in Nampula, says he had heard of the Topuito homicide cases, but that it was too early to comment on these having been perpetrated by the company’s security personnel.

Nacute said police are investigating the cases.

Related image
Topuito. File photo: Wkimapia
The resource curse

António Mutoa says that the discovery of ores has been a curse for Mozambique, where, he notes, human rights are not respected, and that the population of Topuito, besides seeing their rights violated, live in extreme poverty.

Several factors contribute to the violation of human rights in the region, Mutoa says.

A study of water quality, commissioned by the organisation and carried out with the cooperation of the government, concluded that about 22 local wells should be closed because the water was contaminated and unfit for consumption.

Mutoa recommends that, when Kenmare expands its exploration area, the government re-negotiate the contract with the company so that the population benefits from the investments.

Mutoa also said that it is unacceptable that, after ten years of mining operations, access between Nampula and the district should still be so poor, and the population have grown even poorer.

Source: Voa Portugues

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