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Mozambique: Government Inefficiency Leads to Increase in Lynching

(Mar. 2, 2008) Tired of the government inefficiency in the fight against crime, the population of Beira, the second largest city in Mozambique, is taking justice into its own hands and lynching people allegedly guilty of committing crimes, including robbery and murder. That is the conclusion reached by analysts after seven people have been beaten and burned to death by the population in just this year alone.

When the population is questioned, the most common response is that they are sick and tired of being robbed, says Carlos Serra, a sociologist and university professor who is coordinating a research on the topic in Maputo. He even believes that due to the government's failure in providing safety to the population and their property, there may be independent groups doing police work that specialize in lynching alleged criminals. He also observes that the lynching occurs in areas where there is almost no police presence, a lack of proper street illumination, high rates of unemployment, residences that offer no security to their occupants, and houses with high occupancy of usually more than five people. («Cansaço» Perante Inoperância da Polícia Leva a Linchamentos, NOTÍCIAS LUSÓFONAS, Feb. 18, 2008.)