Mozambique police teargas war vets

Mozambique police teargas war vets

Mozambican police used batons, water cannon and tear gas Tuesday to disperse a crowd of war veterans demanding a pensions rise in the capital Maputo, the leader of the protest told AFP.


"The police attacked the veterans using tear gas, with water cannons and beat them," the leader of the Forum of Demobilised Soldiers, Herminio dos Santos, said, adding that four women and six men were badly beaten.

Some suffered "bad injuries to their knees and arms because they were 'shambocked'," he said, referring to the heavy hide whip traditionally used for cattle driving but also often wielded by South African apartheid-era police for riot control.
Police also arrested nine people during the crackdown, he said.
The protesters had gathered near the office of Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina in central Maputo to demand the government pay them a "dignified pension".
The veterans, who fought on the government's side against rebel Renamo fighters during the 16-year civil war that ended in 1992 want a monthly pension of 20 000 meticals (660 US dollars).
This is the second violent police crackdown on the veterans in less than a month. Local rights groups condemned police for using what they termed "excessive force" against the demonstrators gathered outside Vaquina's offices on February 26.
In response to the demonstrators' demands, authorities have said that complaints should be directed to a Ministry of Veterans' Affairs set up to deal with such issues.
The veterans say they have no intention of backing down. "We will continue until the very last," dos Santos vowed calling the Frelimo-led government "inhumane and criminal."
- Sapa

Show's Stories