In northern Mozambique among people displaced by conflict and violence who urgently need help and peace
The situation in northern Mozambique is deteriorating day by day. Attacks by pseudo-jihadists in the Cabo Delgado region have increased dramatically over the past weeks. Hundreds of thousands have left their homes and sought refuge in neighbouring regions.
The survivors report terrible stories of violence and cruelty to the defenceless population. Poor people, the poorest in Mozambique, who live off fishing and farming.
Many had already fled by small boats from Mocimboa during an attack last June. They had found shelter on some small islands and finally managed to arrive to the provincial capital Pemba.
These people have been exposed to enormous sufferings. Some of them died on the way after falling into water or because of severe dehydration and infections. Following the last hard attack at the end of October in the Muidumbe district, many people were stranded in forest with no water and food. Entire families are missing.
The Community has been helping the refugees. On November 15, World Day of the Poor, food, soap and masks were distributed to about 150 families who reached Pemba by boat in the last few weeks. They have found temporary accommodation in fishermen's huts in overcrowded conditions - 40 to 50 people under the same roof. The population of Pemba has doubled in the last few months.
The Community of Sant'Egidio of Nampula visited 350 displaced families who were relocated to Corrane, about 60 km away from the city. The area was once a cotton field.
At this time of poverty and despair, the refugees are comforted to receive - together with practical help they so urgently need - visit and friendship. They feel they are not alone. And the youth of Sant'Egidio - mostly born after the 1992 Peace Agreement - are proof of the strong commitment of the Community to this country and to its need for peace.