Maputo – A shocking story from Mozambique circulated through the international media on Thursday about a mass grave containing 120 bodies that had been uncovered in the central district of Gorongosa.
The story was superficially plausible in that Gorongosa has been the scene of clashes between the rebel movement Renamo and the government police and military. It is also the district where Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama has his bush headquarters.
But the Gorongosa district administration says that when it investigated the story it could find no grave and no bodies.
A statement issued on Friday by Gorongosa district administrator Manuel Jamaca said teams from the district government were sent to the area where the grave was supposedly found and made contact with the local community and its leaders. Their conclusion was that the story was false.
Jamaca accused the purveyors of the story of “trying to stain the image of the district and the country and confuse the national and international community about the public order, security, and tranquility in the country”.
A photograph has appeared on social media website Facebook purporting to be of the Gorongosa mass grave, but the photo is a fake.
It does indeed show a mass grave, but not in Mozambique. The photo was taken in the Philippines more than four years ago and shows the victims of floods in that country being placed in a common grave. The photo appeared in the Portuguese press in December 2011.
African News Agency
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