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UNHCR urges Mozambique’s neighbours to assist people fleeing violence

7 April 2021, 6:00 AM  |  Sherwin Bryce-Pease  | 

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is speaking to role players in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region after reports that more than 1 000 people – who are seeking sanctuary across the border in Tanzania, were prevented from crossing into the country.

Large numbers of people have fled the area around the town of Palma in Cabo Delgado after the attack by ISIS-linked fighters.

At least one South African was among those killed when the fighters stormed the town – where many foreign contract workers had sought refuge. The workers were employed at a massive gas facility located close to Palma.

The UN Secretary-General’s Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, says they have distributed relief items in the area.

“Today the UN Refugee Agency says it continues to work around the clock to assist thousands in Cabo DelGado Province, the recent attacks of insurgents on the coastal town of Palma has forced at least 11 000 people to leave their homes, with thousands more reportedly trapped in the area.

UNHCR says its teams in Pemba have received worrying reports that more than a thousand displaced people were prevented from crossing the border into Tanzania, they’re following up on those reports and are calling on Mozambique’s neighbours to provide territory and asylum procedures for people escaping violence and seeking protection. The Agency with its partners has been distributing various relief items.”

The Mozambican authorities have said they have cleared Palma of the militants.

The United Nations has welcomed the move, which comes ahead of an expected SADC Troika meeting on the situation in northern Mozambique.

Mozambique insurgency requires urgent regional response:

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