by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A terrorist group linked to Islamic State (ISIS) has abducted and enslaved over 600 women and girls in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province since 2018, and many of the abductees are still missing, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports.
The Mozambican terrorists’ known Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah (ASWJ) and Al-Shabab (or mashababos) have been forcing young women and girls to “marry” their fighters, who then enslave and rape them. According to HRW, Al-Shabab took women and girls from various parts of Cabo Delgado districts, including Mocímboa da Praia in March, June, and August 2020, and Palma in March 2021.
The situation is rendered the more complex as, despite its success in rescuing hundreds of women and girls from terrorist bases, Mozambican authorities have kept the victims incommunicado in government facilities, not allowing them to return home for weeks or longer, HRW reports. An official told HRW in October that this policy is in place to carry out security screenings, and that the women and girls are receiving medical and other assistance.
The African Union Commission’s special envoy on women, peace, and security, Bineta Diop, has called on Mozambique and the international community to “act swiftly and provide adequate support” to women and girls who were kidnapped and abused by Al-Shabab.
In any event, many of those kidnapped remain imprisoned. Human Rights Watch Africa Director Mausi Segun said in a statement: “An unknown number of women and girls remain in captivity in Mozambique, facing horrific abuses daily, including enslavement and rape by Al-Shabab fighters.
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