UNHCR available to assist Government in supporting IDPs

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UNHCR available to assist Government in supporting IDPs
UNHCR available to assist Government in supporting IDPs

Africa-Press – Mozambique. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said today, in Maputo, that Mozambique needs to find “the best solutions” for people forced to flee armed attacks in Cabo Delgado and natural calamities, promising support.

“The most important thing is how to help the Government find solutions for displaced people, whether helping them to return to their homes or transferring them to other places or [remaining] where they are,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, speaking to journalists, after being received by the Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, in Maputo.

“We agree on the next steps and how the United Nations can best assist the central government and local authorities to respond to this situation by providing humanitarian assistance in the short term,” he said.

Grandi added that legal assistance for displaced people and support for their return to areas of origin or definitive resettlement in new areas is planned.

On the same occasion, Robert Piper, special advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for Solutions to Internally Displaced Persons, said that Mozambique constitutes a “priority” on the agenda of that United Nations institution, noting that the country faces great needs in terms of humanitarian support.

“Mozambique is a priority country for the United Nations, this is a country where we see great needs, hundreds of thousands of Mozambicans have returned to their homes, in recent months, to resume their lives, their subsistence”, declared Piper.

The non-governmental organization (NGO) Doctors Without Borders (MSF) today estimated the number of people who fled terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, at more than 80,000, asking for food assistance and psychological support.

“Six years after the start of the violent conflict in northern Mozambique, people in Cabo Delgado still live in fear. In 2024 alone, more than 80,000 people had to flee following attacks by armed groups”, says MSF, in communicated.

“Displaced families urgently need food, shelter, basic necessities and health and mental health care”, says the MSF.

After several months of relative normality in the districts affected by armed violence in Cabo Delgado, the province has been registering, for a few weeks now, new movements and attacks by rebel groups, which have limited circulation to some points on the few paved roads that give access to several districts.

Official government data indicate that the new wave of attacks in recent weeks forced 67,321 people to flee their homelands, incursions justified by the Mozambican executive as the result of the “movement of small groups of terrorists” who left their bases towards the south of Cabo Delgado, after a period of relative stability.

In 2024 alone, over 80,000 people had to flee following attacks by armed groups. The displaced families urgently need food, shelter, relief items, healthcare, and mental healthcare.

Cabo Delgado province has been facing an armed insurgency for six years, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.

The insurgency has led to a military response since July 2021, with the support of Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), liberating districts near gas projects, but new waves of attacks have emerged in the south of the region.

The conflict has already displaced one million people, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and around 4,000 deaths, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

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