MAPUTO (Reuters) - Mozambique’s opposition on Wednesday demanded an independent investigation into a spate of unexplained killings and the possible existence of a police death squad.
Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the main opposition party Renamo, said an inquiry separate from a police investigation was needed into the killing of 15 people last month in the Gorongosa region, north of the capital Maputo.
Renamo accuses the ruling Frelimo party of burning homes and killing civilians in a campaign against Renamo guerrillas, violence that has forced thousands of Mozambicans to flee into neighboring Malawi.
Each party accuses the other of attacks on their members in various parts of the country as a simmering conflict between the old civil war foes has escalated since a fiercely contested national election in 2014.
“We need Frelimo to accept the creation of a commission of inquiry (into the 15 deaths) not just composed of members of parliament, but also members of civil society and journalists,” Dhlakama said in an interview with television channel STV.
Police spokesman Inacio Dimas said an investigation into the deaths was ongoing and that the government did not oppose any independent probe.
Renamo and Frelimo fought a civil war from 1976 to 1992 in which a million people died and a million fled to Malawi.
Writing by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by James Macharia and Robin Pomeroy