DHPI visited Rapale District in Nampula Province on November 20, and found that the situation had deteriorated. The peace entity had visited the district in November last year and reported on large numbers of IDPs arriving there, often on foot, from Cabo Delgado, and living in precarious conditions.
In the original IDP settlement on the southern outskirts of Rapale, local sources told the SACBC peace entity that there were over 6,000 IDPs as opposed to IOM’s figure of 2,895.
Locals further reported that IDPs are now present in every neighborhood of the town, and in all distant villages in the surrounding areas.
Highlighting challenges that the IDP face at the settlement, Mr. Viloen said, “There are still no facilities. The ‘original’' settlement now has water from a borehole, installed by a Catholic Sister. There is still no school, and no regular distribution of food or humanitarian assistance.”
DHPI was told that the Community of Sant'egidio came some time back to distribute food to IDPs, based on a name list obtained from the local authorities.
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On the day of the distribution, however, many whose names were on the list did not even live in Rapale, Mr. Viljoen says, and adds that the purported IDPs were accused of being friends and relatives of the local authorities.
The official of DHPI has also reported the escalating tension between IDPs and host communities in northern Mozambique.
Additionally, he says, the peace entity that has been monitoring the six-year violence in Mozambique was told of a meeting between government officials and IDPs in the northern parts of the country. In the meeting, IDPs reportedly accused the government of doing nothing to assist them.
“Government officials in turn accused IDPs of being supporters of the insurgency, before leaving the meeting without attending to any of the issues raised,” Mr. Viljoen said.
He added, “DHPI was told of several IDPs who had heeded the calls to return home. They went, found their places of origin to still be under insurgent attacks, and returned to Rapale.”
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.