Mozambique: Use of Classrooms as Military Camps Unacceptable

The use of classrooms as military camps by the military in Mozambique is an unacceptable action that undermines the fundamental right to education for countless children.

Development Diaries reports that Mozambique has seen a jump in the use of schools for military purposes, according to a report by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA).

GCPEA recorded at least 12 cases of schools being used for military purposes during 2022 and 2023, compared to none in the previous reporting period.

It is understood that the military use of schools, such as for bases or to store ammunition, denies students access and puts them at risk of attack.

This practice has caused a disruption in the learning environment and also placed students and teachers  in imminent danger.

The presence of military personnel and equipment in schools can turn schools into potential targets for violence, which jeopardises the safety and well-being of everyone involved.

Schools should remain sanctuaries for learning and development, free from the influence and hazards of armed conflict.

Mozambique signed the Safe Schools Declaration in 2015, which is a political accord that binds nations to stop and respond to attacks on children, teachers, and schools.

Unfortunately, the violence in Mozambique’s north has demonstrated that many communities do not consider schools to be safe places.

Development Diaries calls on the Mozambican military to immediately cease using schools for military purposes and to respect international laws and conventions that safeguard educational institutions in conflict zones.

It is crucial to prioritise the restoration and protection of these schools, ensuring that children can return to a safe and conducive learning environment without further delay.

Source: Human Rights Watch

Photo source: Juan Luis Rod/AFP via Getty Images


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