ISIS MOzambique War crimes

Photo: Leo Koolhovan / Flickr

Mozambique: SA mercenaries ‘committing war crimes’ in battle against ISIS

Battling with ISIS-aligned fighters in Mozambique wasn’t going to be easy: But a South African group of mercenaries is accused of carrying out ‘war crimes’.

ISIS MOzambique War crimes

Photo: Leo Koolhovan / Flickr

A group of South African mercenaries faces an internal investigation, after fighters from a private firm were accused of committing war crimes in Mozambique. The Dyck Advisory Group, who provide high-level security services, have members fighting against ISIS-aligned insurgents in the Cabo Delgado region – but all has not been fair in the troubled territory.

The South African mercenaries in Mozambique

The members of the DAG were allegedly hired by the Government of Mozambique, in order to quell the ongoing terror threats. However, the ‘reckless methods’ have been lambasted, as the group has also caused a high number of civilian. Some of the South African mercenaries alleged ‘dropped hand grenades and opened fire indiscriminately’ during battles:

“After security forces lost a number of battles with ‘Al-Shabaab’, the government hired the Dyck Advisory Group (DAG), a South African private military company, to fight on their behalf. According to 53 witnesses who spoke to Amnesty, DAG operatives have fired machine guns from helicopters and dropped hand grenades indiscriminately into crowds of people.”

“They repeatedly fired at infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, & homes. During an attack on the town of Mocímboa in June 2020, DAG helicopters destroyed a hospital as they took aim at ‘Al-Shabaab’ fighters hiding in the facility.”

‘War crimes committed in the fight against ISIS’ – Amnesty

In Amnesty International’s damning report, DAG was criticised for ‘failing to grasp the basic rules of war’. The pain and misery inflicted upon civilians by rogue mercenaries cannot be tolerated. Lionel Dyck, the founder of the company, told Reuters that a team of lawyers is looking to lead an inquiry into these allegations.

“The testimony we have gathered reveals a pattern of repeated, reckless targeting by Dyck Advisory Group. By firing indiscriminately into crowds, attacking civilian infrastructure, and failing to distinguish between military and civilian targets, they have clearly violated international humanitarian law. They must now be held accountable for their actions.”

Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.