Maputo — ESCALATING attacks by militants opposed to the peace deal in Mozambique have forced more than 7 000 people to flee their homes.
The attacks in the western Manica province and Sofala, to the east, are blamed on the self-styled RENAMO military junta.
RENAMO is an acronym for the main opposition Mozambique National Resistance, which signed an historic peace deal with the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) in 2019.
The military junta is a breakaway faction of RENAMO opposed to the peace agreement. It has been perpetrating ambushes on main roads.
The International Organisation of Migration (IOM) disclosed 7 780 civilians (1 507 households) had been displaced as a result of the attacks mostly in the Gondola district of Manica as well as Chibabava and Buzi districts of Sofala.
This has generated a fresh crisis in Mozambique, which since 2017 has suffered terror attacks by an Islamist sect north of the country.
In Manica and Sofala, IOM has identified the top humanitarian needs to include food, water, sanitation and shelter.
There is also a dire need of health services, clothing, kitchen utensils and bedding.
President Filipe Nyusi earlier this week appealed to the Renamo military junta to lay arms and join the peace process.
He was speaking at the commemoration of another peace deal signed by the rival parties in 1992.
That agreement ended a 15-year civil war that, combined with hunger, left around 1 million people dead.