Mozambique: One year after the capture of Palma, violence persists

The United Nations Refugee Agency denounces "persistent violence in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique".

On March 24, 2021, jihadists took the coastal city of Palma, in Mozambique. According to the press agency of theIslamic state, the attack resulted in "the death of 55 Mozambican soldiers and Christians, including contractors from outside the country". A year later, "security remains fragile in parts of northern Mozambique" according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

In this province of Cabo Delgado, a series of attacks, carried out by non-state armed groups from January to March 2021, had forced 24 people to flee in the district of Nangande. These figures, revealed by Boris Cheshirkov, spokesperson for theUnited Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), express the concern of the organization which denounces "persistent violence in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique".

"The people affected urgently need humanitarian aid and protection services", says Boris Cheshirkov, "hundreds of families are still on the move".

More than 5000 people took refuge in Mueda district. The UNHCR, which now fears "a resumption of violence", and therefore an increase in the arrival of refugees in this area, recalls that these people have witnessed atrocities. Boris Cheshirkov reports "murders, beheadings and dismemberment of bodies, sexual violence, kidnappings, forced recruitment by armed groups and torture in particular".

The UNHCR recalls that it is dangerous to encourage people to return to Cabo Delgado, "because of the persistent insecurity in certain parts of the province".


Image credit: Shutterstock / Senderistas

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