AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - The Cabo Delgado tragedy, a problem not only in Mozambique but in all of southern Africa

Thursday, 4 March 2021 displaced persons   wars   ecumenicalism   solidarity  

Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - "The people of Cabo Delgado are experiencing a major humanitarian crisis and we are addressing various bodies and institutions. We seek to broaden the message that the insurgency in northern Mozambique is not just a Mozambican problem; it is a Southern African regional emergency, thus an African burden that cannot be globally ignored", states a statement sent to Agenzia Fides by the Christian Councils of Southern Africa, the main ecumenical organization in southern Africa, which unites its voice with that of the then Bishop of Pemba, His Exc. Mgr. Luiz Fernando Lisboa, now Archbishop of the Diocese of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, in Brazil.
In a statement to Fides (see Fides, 12/2/2021) Mgr. Lisboa had described the situation as follows: "The Province of Cabo Delgado is currently suffering because of a war of terrorist matrix and has been doing so for three years and four months, which has led to the flight of more than 600 thousand people and the death of more than two thousand others".
The Christian Councils of Southern Africa reports that they have heard reports of "beheadings of people and the removal and trafficking of human body parts in addition to the large-scale evacuation of deprived populations in neighboring provinces. More than 10% of the population of the evacuated".
"We call on the countries and governments of the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) individually and collectively to respond urgently to the insurrection in Mozambique, as in fact, this is not a Mozambican crisis, and very soon it will involve the entire region and impact physically and economically, on the lives and livelihoods of the poor in the region",warns the ecumenical organization.
The Christian Councils of Southern Africa appeal to "business entities to raise their hands to provide help to this stricken province. We call on mobile network operators to consider offering free calls or even a certain quota of free calls and texts for people to raise the alarm and seek help". In particular, the weakest victims must be helped: "children, mothers, disabled people, chronically sick and elderly people; not to mention victims ravaged by COVID-19, struggling to breathe". "Companies involved in resource extraction in the province must contribute to the finding of lasting solutions of the Province, and not limit themselves to the safety of their operations. We appeal to every sector to play their role in the hour of want". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 4/3/2021)