Nearly 1 million civilians have been affected and displaced since violence erupted in northern Mozambique in 2017, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday.
“Tragically, the conflict has not subsided, and thousands of families are still being forced to leave their homes because of attacks by non-state armed groups,” UNHCR spokesman Matthew Saltmarsh said at a UN press conference.
Saltmarsh said the mayhem is caused by different groups that the UN could not identify but that often act sporadically.
UNHCR is calling for an end to the violence and for the international community to provide sustainable support to alleviate the suffering of the displaced population and local host communities in northern Mozambique.
“Extreme violence and displacement have had a devastating impact on the population,” said Saltmarsh.
“People have witnessed their loved ones being killed, beheaded, and raped, and their houses and other infrastructure burned to the ground. Men and boys have also been forcibly enrolled in armed groups,” he added.
Many people have been retraumatized after being forced to move multiple times to save their lives.
Five years on, the humanitarian situation across Cabo Delgado continues to deteriorate, and displacement figures have increased by 20% to 946,508 in the first half of this year.
The conflict has now spilled into the neighboring province of Nampula, which witnessed four attacks by armed groups in September, affecting at least 47,000 people and displacing 12,000.
During the latest attacks, people displaced told UNHCR they were scared and hungry.
“They lack medicine and live in crowded conditions – with four to five families sharing one house,” said Saltmarsh.
“Some sleep under open skies. Lack of privacy, exposure to cold at night, and the elements during the day create additional safety and health concerns, particularly for women and children,” he added.
UNHCR considers security too volatile in Cabo Delgado to facilitate returns to the province.
However, growing protection needs and limited services for those who have chosen to return home must still be urgently addressed, said the agency.
As of September, Mozambique needed some $36.7 million in cash to meet the necessary humanitarian aid needs, said Saltmarsh, noting that 60% percent of the funding had been met.Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Ekim 2022, 20:12