Newly Appointed Bishop in Mozambique Renews Plea to Support Victims of Extremist Attacks

Bishop António Juliasse Ferreira Sandramo, appointed Bishop of Mozambique's Pemba Diocese by Pope Francis on 08 March 2022. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The newly appointed Catholic Bishop for Pemba Diocese in Mozambique has, in his first appeal after the appointment, called on the international community to support victims of extremist attacks in Cabo Delgado Province that is served by his Episcopal See.

In a message to Catholic Pontifical and charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Portugal, Bishop António Juliasse Ferreira Sandramo expressed concern that the media coverage of the situation in the embattled Mozambican Province has gone down even as innocent civilians continue to suffer at the hands of extremists in the embattled region of the Southern African nation. 

“Terrorist violence continues to have its effects in Cabo Delgado and the humanitarian crisis is still present. Unfortunately, the situation is not much visualized in recent moments and publicized with the same intensity as it was some time ago, but the suffering of the people of Cabo Delgado still continues,” Bishop Juliasse says in the Monday, March 14 report.

He adds, in his appeal for the support of the international community, “I renew the appeal that the world does not forget Cabo Delgado and does not forget the suffering that there is.”

He cautions the international community against forgetting the suffering of the people of God in Cabo Delgado, saying, “If we forget, it will be serious, (because) there are immense people still dependent on the aid that arrives from everywhere, and, therefore, it is still necessary to continue saving lives in these conditions of extreme poverty.”


Pope Francis appointed Bishop Juliasse as the Local Ordinary of Pemba Diocese on March 8, filling the position that had been vacant since February 2021 following the transfer of Bishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa to the Brazilian Diocese of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim.

Until his appointment as Bishop of Pemba, Bishop Juliasse has been serving as the Apostolic Administrator of the Mozambican Diocese and Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Maputo.

Once installed as Bishop of Pemba Diocese, Bishop Juliasse will oversee the 82,625 square-kilometer Catholic Diocese that was erected in April 1957, and with a population of 695,289 Catholics, according to 2019 statistics.

In recent times, Bishop Juliasse has been vocal on the ongoing violent conflict in Cabo Delgado Province. In a March 9 2021 report, he expressed solidarity with the people of God affected by Mozambique’s Palma attack that left dozens of foreigners and locals killed.

He called for an immediate end to violence in the Southern African nation, saying, “God show us another way; not the way of violence; not the way of cruelty, but the way of love, of fraternity.”

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In a June 2021 report, the Mozambican Bishop urged charity groups and authorities giving aid to displaced people who have settled in the provincial capital not to discriminate against the local community.

“The interventions must integrate aspects of good coexistence between the displaced and the local population. The aid should not go only to the displaced, totally ignoring the local population,” Bishop Juliasse said.

He advocated for equitable sharing of resources as the way forward in handling animosity between local communities and people who have fled the violent conflict.

“It is necessary for people to share utilities if they are to stay together without any conflict. Resources from land, building materials for houses to basic necessities need to be shared,” the Mozambican Catholic Bishop said.

In the March 14 ACN Portugal report, the Catholic Bishop who will turn 54 on March 20 recalls that the resettlement camps in Cabo Delgado host thousands of “needy people,” and that many “are unable to have daily food.”


He says that displaced people in Cabo Delgado are also in dire need of medical and medicinal assistance, and appeals for “everyone’s solidarity with this very impoverished region of Mozambique.”

In the message to ACN Portugal, Bishop Juliasse expresses “deep gratitude” to Pope Francis, recalling that the Holy Father “is attentive to what is happening” in Mozambique, as well as “to the needs of the Catholic Church” in the Portuguese-speaking African country.

The Catholic Bishop also mentions a “special attention of communion and closeness of Pope Francis to the peculiarities of the diocesan Church of Pemba, Cabo Delgado, which is going through difficult moments caused by the violence of terrorism.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.