Nearly 800,000 have fled brutal Islamist advance in Mozambique
June 14, 2021
An estimated 70,000 residents of Palma, a city of 75,000 in northern Mozambique, have fled the city in the past three months, the UN refugee agency announced on June 11—bringing to nearly 800,000 the total of those displaced by the Islamist insurgency in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province (map).
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Launched in 2017, the insurgency is led by Ansar al-Sunna, with support from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Neighboring Tanzania is refusing to admit refugees, and “those pushed back from Tanzania end up in a dire situation at the border and are exposed to gender-based violence and health risks as many are sleeping in the open at night in extreme cold without blankets or a roof over their heads,” said Babar Baloch, spokesman for the UN refugee agency.
Father Kwiriwi Fonseca of the Diocese of Pemba told Aid to the Church in Need that the jihadists have abducted hundreds of boys and girls.
“The terrorists use these children and forcibly train them to fight in their ranks, whereas the girls are raped and forced to become their ‘brides,’” he said. “In some cases, when they have grown bored with them, these girls are simply thrown out.”
The Southeast African nation of 30.1 million (map) is 30% Protestant, 24% Catholic, 17% Muslim, and 28% ethnic religionist.
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- Insecurity in northern Mozambique continues to forcibly displace thousands (UNHCR)
- In Mozambique, priest blasts terrorists for abducting boys (Aid to the Church in Need)
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