Catholic Peace Entity Condemns Rampant Sexual Enslavement of Mozambican Christians

A group of women and children guarded by security forces in Mucimboa da Praia of Mozambique's Cabo Delgado Province early September. Credit: DHPI

Reports have emerged of Islamist Jihadists operating in Mozambique forcefully converting abducted Christian women into Islam and sexually enslaving some of them.

In an interview with ACI Africa, the Director of Denis Hurley Peace Institute (DHPI) confirmed reports of a leaked internal circular, purportedly from the leadership of the Islamic State, allegedly advising the group’s fighters in the Southern African country to also kill those who refuse to convert to Islam.

“We have confirmed from the people in Cabo Delgado that indeed, it is true; the fighters are turning Christian women into sex objects and forcing them to convert to Islam,” Johan Viljoen said in the Wednesday, September 20 interview.

Mr. Viljoen added, “We condemn any attempt to force people to change their religion. We condemn the Islamists for forcing women into sex slavery. It is a reprehensible violation of human rights.”

The leaked IS internal circular, reported by caboligado, shows the terrorist group advising its members to conduct medical tests on non-virgin enslaved women before distributing them among fighters and killing those who refuse to convert to Islam.


The advice is based on allegations that the kidnapped women are infecting the ISIS fighters with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS.

“Captured women with AIDS who do convert can be released for a ransom or killed if they refuse to become Muslims,” the circular reads, adding, “Those who convert to Islam and are confirmed free of the disease can be given (to ISIS members).”

The document notes that non-virgin women should all take tests before they are given away as slaves to ISIS members.

Armed men belonging to the Islamic State, referred to as Al Shabaab in Mozambique, have been attacking innocent civilians, mostly targeting Christians since 2017.

The conflict has also been hinged on glaring socioeconomic disparities between Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, and the marginalized North, especially Cabo Delgado where fighting is concentrated.

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Terrorists have also made inroads into neighboring provinces of Nampula, and Niassa where they continue to attack civilians. In the latest attack, 11 Christians were reportedly separated from the Muslim population in the embattled Cabo Delgado province and executed.

Reports indicate that more than 800,000 people in these Mozambican Provinces are still displaced despite the return of some civilians and a heavy military presence.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.