Maputo — Florete Mutarua, the mayor of Pemba, capital of the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, says the city has run out of space to accommodate displaced people fleeing from the terrorist raids by islamists in several districts further north.
Cited in Monday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique", Mutarua said he is negotiating with the governments of Metuge and Mecufi districts for space to resettle displaced households.
People fleeing from islamist atrocities in districts such as Mocimboa da Praia, Macomia and Quissanga have fled by road and by sea to Pemba. Unofficial estimates are that over 30,000 displaced people are currently in the city. Most of them have taken refuge in the homes of relatives, and are considered to be in a situation of great vulnerability.
Some 300,000 people in all have been displaced. Some have made their way to relatively safe districts in Cabo Delgado, and others have crossed the provincial boundary into Nampula.
On 1 July, Mutarua signed a municipal order suspending the allocation of all plots of land in Pemba until January 2021. The measure, according to the newsheet's sources, is intended to prevent members of the jihadist group from infiltrating the city.
The latest terrorist attack, according to "Carta de Mocambique", occurred on Saturday when raiders killed two people in an attack on the "Novo Cabo Delgado" village in Macomia district. This village houses not only its own residents, but displaced people who have fled from the villages of Miangalewa, Litamanda and Nova Zambezia.