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News > Mozambique

Over 1.5 Million People Displaced Due To Violence in Mozambique

  • Children at a displacement site in Mozambique, 2019.

    Children at a displacement site in Mozambique, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @Refugees

Published 18 December 2020

Since 2017, the Islamist group Al Shabaab has been fighting with the government for control of Cabo Delgado, a province where large gas fields exist.

The United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday denounced that over half a million people are displaced because of attacks by armed groups in northern Mozambique.


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Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia, and Niassa are the provinces most affected by the wave of violence and where forced displacement is being experienced.

The victims are fleeing from those territories to areas further south because they consider them safer, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said.

Mozambique's internal conflict has killed over 2,000 people in the last four years. Among the most committed abuses are violent acts against women, with cases of kidnapping, rape, and forced marriages.

Since 2017, the Cabo Delgado province has been the scene of operations for the Islamist group Al Shabaab, which faces the government of President Filipe Nyusi. In that area of the country, large gas fields were discovered in 2010.

"In recent days, attacks by armed groups have increased significantly in the districts of Palma, Nangade, and Macomia, forcing many people to displace several times," Baloch explained.

Attacks against the population also include looting, burning houses, and serious damage to schools and health centers. Circumstances like these generate separation of families and restrictions on access to food.

"There are clear indications that this crisis could extend beyond Mozambique's borders," Baloch said, adding that humanitarian operators do not have access to affected areas because of insecurity and rains.


Babar Baloch
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