Looming concerns of human rights violations by SA mercenary group operating in Mozambique

DAG human rights violations
Displaced villagers seeking refuge at beach in Pemba. (Image credit - Tonicles Talks)

Amnesty International is calling for the South African government to investigate Dyck Advisory Group for compliance with International Human Rights Standards and South African legislature.

The Military company (Dyck Advisory Group) was hired by the Mozambican government to provide military assistance to neutralise the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al Jamma’ah insurgence in Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique.

David Matsinhe of Amnesty International said the contract South African mercenaries are flouting human rights by indiscriminate attacks on no combatants.

“The Dyck Advisory Group is using helicopters to engage in indiscriminate shootingS with machine guns, dropping hand grenades on crowds of civilians without distinguishing non combatants and military targets”, said Matsinhe.

Considering the human rights violations and indiscriminate killings, Brian Castner, the Senior Crisis Advisor for arms and military operations at Amnesty International said DAG is violating South African laws and white South African mercenaries have a bad history of military campaigns in Africa.

“Lionel Dyck, the founder of Dyck Advisory Group, is himself a former commander in the Rhodesian army. DAG is possibly violating South African law by fighting in Cabo Delgado”

“There is a problematic history of white South Africans fighting as mercenaries across the continent”, Castner blasted

Amnesty International said they have leading information in their recent report of instances of gunfire assaults and airstrikes on hospitals and schools which have resulted in the deaths of many civilians in the region at the hands of DAG mercenaries.

According to an Amnesty International report into the Cabo Delgado humanitarian crisis, over 1,200 civilians have been killed in the conflict involving Mozambican armed forces, the Dyck Advisory Group and the Islamic militants and almost 600 000 people have been displaced.

The Ahl al-Sunnah wa al Jamma’ah insurgency group continues to carry out violent atrocities of gruesome machete attacks, abduction of women and girls as young as 8 years old subjecting them to sexual and emotional abuse.

In the escalating violence, Mozambican armed forces also carried out counter military campaigns of executions and torture against villagers and civilians suspected of providing aid to the Islamist militants.