AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - Armed conflicts continue in the north of the country, thousands of people are fleeing

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Cabo Delgado (Agenzia Fides) - Abductions, disappearances, sexual violence, destruction of property, including schools, health centers and places of worship, are the main causes of the flight of thousands of people in search of safety, family reunification or better livelihood opportunities.
The situation is particularly critical in the Corrane camp, which hosts people displaced by violence perpetrated by non-state armed groups in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. Opened in 2019 in the neighboring province of Nampula, Corrane currently hosts around 7,000 displaced people. According to the DHPI body of the South African Bishops' Conference (SABC), "these people are trying to make ends meet despite the animosity of the residents who have been displaced".
For five years, attacks by non-governmental armed groups in northern Mozambique are still forcing thousands of families from their land. This is an escalation of violence that began in 2017 and continues to result in attacks in villages and towns and killings of civilians. To date, more than 2,500 people have been killed and nearly one million people displaced, 79% of whom are women and children. Gender-based violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, are major concerns for displaced women, girls and boys.
Mozambique is among the world's least developed countries, ranking 185th out of 191 countries on the 2022 Human Development Index. According to recent data recorded by the United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than one million Mozambicans are internally displaced in the province of Cabo Delgado, also due to the devastating impact of climate change and weather phenomena such as cyclones, tropical storms and floods - Nampula being one of the most exposed provinces. In addition to internally displaced persons, Mozambique also hosts some 28,000 refugees.
OCHA reports that by 2023, the humanitarian response in the north of the country will target 1.6 million of the two million people most in need of assistance and protection in Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa due to the impact continued armed conflict, violence and insecurity in the region. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 7/3/2023)