AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - The political crisis in Mozambique also affects Malawi due to the many refugees

Monday, 25 January 2016 area crisis   refugees  

Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - The number two of the Renamo (the former guerrilla movement which has become the main opposition party), Manuel Bissopo, escaped an ambush in the second largest city in Mozambique, Beira. On January 20, the car in which Bissopo was traveling was hit by several shots of Kalashnikov that killed his bodyguard, while the manager was slightly injured. The incident highlighted the tension caused by the clash between the Frelimo (ruling party) and Renamo, whose leader Alfonso Dhlakama said that the last elections in 2014 were heavily affected by fraud. Dhlakama, who in recent months escaped three assassination attempts, has long taken refuge in the forest of Sofala, Renamo stronghold.
Because of the fighting between regular troops and guerrillas affiliated to Renamo, the inhabitants of the region of Tete have taken refuge in neighboring Malawi. According to the UN High Commission for Refugees ((UNHCR), the number of Mozambicans who seek refuge in Malawi could soon grow from the current 3,500 to 5,000, creating serious problems to the authorities of one of the poorest countries in the world.
In November, the Mozambican Bishops had launched an appeal for national reconciliation, complaining about the loss of human lives, the miserable living conditions of internally displaced persons and refugees, and the serious economic consequences of the political crisis (school dropout, discouragement of local and foreign investors, agricultural plantations abandoned due to insecurity, loss of jobs in tourism, etc ...). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 25/01/2016)