from ARIMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – THE terror attacks by suspected Muslim extremists in northern Mozambique are worsening the plight of civilians of the deadly cyclone that hit the country earlier this year.
Victims of the Cyclone Kenneth, which hit the province of Cabo Delgado in April, are struggling to recover as the armed violence in the same region forces people from their home as well as destroying villages and health centres.
Attacks in Cabo Delgado have been recurrent since 2017.
Hundreds of people have been wounded and killed, homes burned down and property looted. Safe access to affected communities is a challenge for humanitarian organisations.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the impact of the violence on displaced Mozambicans and their host communities, should this pattern continue.
“People in Cabo Delgado are suffering from two disasters: a cyclone, which wiped out homes and crops earlier this year, and armed violence,” said Patricia Danzi, ICRC’s director for Africa.
“People have suffered two years of attacks on their villages, which has forced many to leave their houses and most of their belongings behind,” the official said.
More people are seeking refuge in the relative safety of larger towns such as Macomia, thus putting a strain on already scarce resources.
Among those fleeing are farmers who are abandoning their fields.
This comes after losing their previous harvest to Cyclone Kenneth, which killed 52 people.
Most of those displaced by the violence are living with local families. Others are sleeping in open spaces such as empty classrooms.
– CAJ News