MADRID, 11 Jun. (EUROPA PRESS) –
At least 70,000 people have fled their homes in the Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country, since the Islamic State in Central Africa (ISCA) terrorist group stormed the town of Palma in March, according to a new UN report which estimates nearly 800,000 people displaced by violence throughout the area.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned that, two and a half months after the attack, “every day there are people fleeing in a desperate search for safety, both in Mozambique and across the border with Tanzania “, the closest neighboring country.
The agency’s spokesman, Babar Baloch, said he was “seriously concerned” about the situation of the civilian population, given that the situation in Palma remains “very unstable, with shootings at night and burning of houses.” He has also warned that there are “thousands” of people trapped in “very unsafe” areas near the capital of Cabo Delgado and with little help.
Mozambican authorities have denounced forced returns at the Tanzanian border – more than 9,600 in the Negomano pass alone since January, some 900 of them between June 7 and 9. Those forced to return are left in an extreme situation, sleeping in the open and exposed to all kinds of risks, Baloch said.
UNHCR has reiterated its call for protection for all those fleeing conflict zones. “Refugees should not be forced to return to danger,” the spokesman claimed.