Mozambique has experienced a wave of armed attacks in Cabo Delgado province since October 2017 and these have escalated significantly since January 2020, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without adequate access to food, water, sanitation, or any basic services.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado province has significantly deteriorated over the last six months due to insecurity and violence.
“Displacement has risen rapidly as violence has escalated, with two-hundred and eleven-thousand four-hundred and eighty-five people now estimated to be internally displaced in the province,” the UN agency said in an update on the security situation in Mozambique.
It revealed that more than three-hundred violent incidents have been recorded since 2017, with over one-hundred of these being reported since January.
These include attacks “on villages by non-state armed actors and clashes between security forces and armed groups.”
“Attacks by non-state armed groups destroyed more than 107 schools (including a teacher training centre) so far, affecting more than 56,000 children and almost 1,100 teachers.
“Over the past weeks, attacks have increased in scale and scope, with Palma, Mocimboa da Praia, Nangade, Muidumbe, Macomia, and Quissanga districts hardest-hit,” the update said.
The escalation in violence has affected access to Cabo Delgado by aid officials, with humanitarian organisations working in the province facing serious challenges in reaching people in need.
Recent attacks on district capitals in Mocimboa da Praia, Quissanga, Muidumbe, and Macomia districts have forced many humanitarian actors to temporarily withdraw from vital hub locations into Pemba and Maputo, reducing their ability to assess and respond to rising needs.