The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNRA) has expressed concern that around 600 Mozambican asylum seekers were refused entry into Tanzania and returned to the province of Cabo Delgado.
The asylum seekers had fled Palma after non-state actor militants attacked the area in March, leaving death, destruction and displacement in their wake.
The agency says the information it has received is being followed up with local authorities of both countries.
These developments follow violent attacks by al-Shabaab-ISIS-linked militants who killed many and displaced tens of thousands.
Discussing Mozambique’s humanitarian crisis with James Matthews:
The UN’s Refugee Agency reported that several families from Palma attempted to seek asylum in Tanzania due to the proximity to the border, but were refused entry and forced to return through the border town of Negomano.
With the suspension of organised evacuations by air and sea from Palma since April 2, thousands of families who remained trapped in the district are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
The Agency has urged neighbouring countries to respect both access to asylum and the principle of refoulement.
Impact of militant attack on Mozambique’s investment and tourism:
A right that applies to everyone: Seeking asylum from conflict and persecution. pic.twitter.com/cJJTyCVGik
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) April 5, 2021
Seeking safety is a human right.
And human rights don’t change based on whether you seek safety by land, air or sea. #StandUp4HumanRights pic.twitter.com/nOtmtsBpTX
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) April 4, 2021