Malawi: Mozambique Struggles With Refugees Returning From Malawi

Maputo — MOZAMBIQUE is battling to cater for thousands of its nationals returning to the country having fled the conflict between government forces and rebels.

A majority of 11 500 civilians that had fled to neighbouring Malawi in the northwest have returned after tensions eased between the governing Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) and militants from the opposition Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO).

Most of the refugees have returned to Moatize district in the western Tete Province.

Humanitarian organisations said the influx of returnees was intensifying pressure on available resources.

The local population numbers over 61 783, including 11 500 returning refugees and 6 231 returning internally displaced persons.

"Some (people) are difficult to access for political and geographical reasons," a spokesperson of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, lamented.

Needs identified include food insecurity, in particular related to livelihood protection, seeds and agricultural tools as well as shelter.

Malawi re-opened the Luwani Refugee Camp in the southern Neno Province on 2016 to house the influx of Mozambican refugees fleeing their country due to the rise of political tensions between rival parties.

Calm has returned to Mozambique after a series of talks between the political adversaries.

The country of over 30 million people will hold general elections in October this year.

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