GENEVA CONVENTION DOESN'T WORK WITH THE NEW AGE OF RELIGIOUS INSURGENTS.
The war in Mozambique is unlikely to end because SADC and Mozambique are being pressured to fight these insurgents using outdated 1945 Red Cross sponsored Geneva Convention rules, which were set by Europeans after the war games they were playing with their cousins, in what they termed World War 2.
According to accounts, the Zimbabwean and Mozambican armies had been able to neutralize the Ansar Al Sunna insurgency in March 2021, by undertaking an unrestricted war of attrition on the insurgents.
This war of attrition included:
● killing all insurgents at any point of contact, without taking prisoners of war or the injured,
● attacking insurgents even when they use civilians as shields (this was achieved by using snipers and commandos hidden among civilians),
● publicly executing civilians caught supporting militants, to send a message to other would be insurgency supporters,
● letting communities deal with captured insurgents, who had developed a reputation for terrorizing the community,
● employing aggressive interrogation techniques to extract information from insurgents as quickly as possible,
● putting special forces to live in and among the villagers 24/7 to monitor, protect, gather intelligence, counter insurgents and
● politicizing communities through pungwes, to make them understand the importance of nation building and the danger of supporting insurgency.
Then the Americans came in and forced the Mozambican government to dismiss Zimbabwean forces and adhere to Geneva Convention rules or else face a UN investigation for war crimes. What is ironic is Mozambique is not a signatory to the Geneva Convention but they are bound by UN rules and the general rules of human rights, which clearly do not apply in a war against terrorists.
From that point forward, under the adjudication of US special forces, Mozambique was to fight terrorists by UEFA league sportsmanlike rules: taking care of the wounded insurgents, taking captured insurgents as prisoners of war, arresting civilians who support terrorists, providing them with defense counsel, respecting their rights not to be aggressively interrogated as prisoners of war, providing them with three meals a day, conducting trials at state expense, giving them appropriate jail terms, then releasing prisoners after the war and never executing them in public.
All these rules might have made sense when wealthy nations, enriched by slavery and colonialism, agreed to play by the same rules because they were fighting for honor and not survival. However, in an impoverished setting like Africa, such rules mean African nations are unable to fight insurgency, if they don't have the vast resources to capture, secure and protect prisoners of war and injured insurgents who are fighting without rules to overrun government positions for religious honor.
The rules are outdated for fighting a war against religious, fanatical, guerrilla insurgents who don’t play by the rules, particularly in Africa where governments do not have resources to institute all these processes. As Africans this knowledge is seared in our subconscious because this same unbridled Islamic terror was once visited upon Africa by Koran wielding fanatics, who enslaved and colonized many Africans way before the European Christians brought their own pogroms to Africa.
In west Africa today, the same extremists have made many nations in that region ungovernable, through their lawless brutality. And it has been proved in countries like Central Africa Republic, where they relentlessly purged the nation of Fulani insurgency, that such religious barbarism understands no other language but no-holds-barred aggression and an eye-for-an-eye.
So, now that the rebels in northern Mozambique know that they can continue their lawless brutality, and will be treated with kid gloves when captured [unlike a few months ago], they are back and wrecking havoc in communities where Zimbabwean soldiers were withdrawn.
There is suspicion that the current rebels coming out of Tanzania, are a different group all together, sponsored by states and corporations with interests in Mozambique, but that issue is outside the scope of this post.
The SADC ORGAN also has a stalemate as South Africa and Botswana want to fight these insurgents using these European Geneva Convention standards. Zimbabwe and others are pointing out that the South Africans and Botswana have never fought any real wars, so they are not in a position to determine what works in fighting such insurgency.
Zimbabwe insists that European rules of engagement, used when they fought their WW2 friendly championships between cousins in 1945, won’t work in fighting religious insurgents hellbent on creating caliphates [lands ruled by Sharia law] or western looting territories by terror, in Africa. So they want a little more latitude to implement a war of attrition, while the other two are against that.
In Congo, Zimbabwe was sanctioned for stopping western sponsored Rwandan and Ugandan rebels from overthrowing Laurent Kabila, which forced the Sun City Peace Accord and prevented the UN from splitting Congo into five easy to loot territories. After the peace agreement, Zimbabwean troops were withdrawn from Congo and the South African army stepped in as peace keepers, who use the Geneva Convention Bible.
Since then , the war resumed, 5mil people have been killed, millions raped and 5mil more externally displaced on South Africa's law abiding watch.
What is annoying many military specialists who I have spoken to is US special forces, seals, commandos, Israeli Shayetet and British SAS don’t play by Geneva Convention rules. These psychopathic killers use all means necessary and worse methods than the war of attrition that Zimbabwe and Mozambique are being stopped from using, when dealing with insurgents in their own countries or areas of operation.
More problematic is the US and EU want terrorists to be treated with humanity, but they have unreasonably, indiscriminately and disproportionately tortured innocent Zimbabwean civilians [in peace time] by depriving them of food, clean water, healthcare, social welfare, aid assistance, political rights, social rights, legal rights and cultural rights through unilateral economic warfare (sanctions) without trial.
These same illegal economic measures on Zimbabwe are no different from the brutality of terrorism and torture, as they have resulted in hundreds of deaths and over 3mil external displaced Zimbabwean refugees.
Why are terrorists so important to western powers, that they deserve rights which innocent civilians in Zimbabwe, Libya, Congo, Somalia, Venezeula, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Afghanistan and other countries are being denied by US, EU, Canadian and Australian unilateral sanctions?
By Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare.