LISTEN | 'What affects Mozambique will affect neighbouring countries,' warns UN Refugee Agency

People wait for friends and relatives as a ship carrying more than 1,000 people fleeing an attack claimed by Islamic State-linked insurgents on the town of Palma, docks in Pemba, Mozambique.
People wait for friends and relatives as a ship carrying more than 1,000 people fleeing an attack claimed by Islamic State-linked insurgents on the town of Palma, docks in Pemba, Mozambique.
Image: REUTERS/EMIDIO JOZINE

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It's been more than two weeks since the city of Palma in Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique was attacked by heavily armed rebel forces on March 24. The attacks continued until April 2, leaving many people dead, displaced or injured.

The UN Refugee Agency’s head of office in Pemba, Margarida Loureiro, who has been on the ground with those displaced by the recent attacks, describes how dire the humanitarian situation in Mozambique is. She warns that if not brought under control, the humanitarian concerns were likely to impact on neighbouring countries, as well. 

Those who managed to escape the violence arrived in surrounding areas like Pemba, with harrowing stories of murdered neighbours and family members, missing loved ones and communities destroyed.

The Mozambican army has stated that Palma is now secure, but the collateral damage is weighing heavily on survivors and under-resourced surrounding communities.

Close to 700,000 people have been displaced in their own country since the insurgency involving Islamist militants began in 2017. However, the motives behind the attacks have still not been concretely established.

TimesLIVE


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