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UNHCR alarmed at brutal attacks by insurgent armed group in Mozambique

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic to whom quoted text may be attributed at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Mozambique. Displaced families in crisis-torn northern provinces

Adelia, 11, fled her home in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, with her family in 2020 and now lives at a site for internally displaced people.  © UNHCR/Martim Gray Pereira

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is extremely alarmed at the tragic events in Palma, in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province.

While verified information is scarce with Palma completely cut off, many men, women and children have fled their homes and found refuge in the surrounding bush. Others have been leaving Palma, trying to reach safety in other areas. Dozens have also reportedly been killed during the attacks.

UNHCR is deeply concerned by the violence committed against civilians in Palma, including against women and children, who account for most of the internally displaced people in the country.

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Over a hundred displaced people arrived on Sunday by boat from Palma to Pemba, the capital of the Cabo Delgado province, while some 40 others were evacuated yesterday evening to Pemba on UN planes. Most were women and children, the majority of whom are traumatized and exhausted.

UNHCR staff are present at the local port and the airport as people displaced by the fighting arrive in Pemba. Our staff are referring vulnerable people – including older women and unaccompanied children – for immediate assistance and services. Many of them needed urgent medical attention.

On 29 March, two flights from UNHAS landed at the airport in Pemba carrying displaced people from Palma. UNHCR, together with Save the Children, managed to house all unaccompanied minors and single mothers with temporary host families for the night. Our quick intervention prevented them from spending the night at the airport.

There are also reports of people attempting to cross the border into Tanzania. A group arriving in Pemba told UNHCR staff about their initial attempts to seek safety across the border, which were thwarted by the difficult river crossing.

READ  IOM provides food vouchers to vulnerable refugees and migrants affected by COVID-19 in Brazil

People arriving in Pemba have shared details of the extreme brutality of the insurgent group. One mother told us that her 14-year-old son was taken away by the armed group in 2020. She had to flee with her daughter and husband then to save their lives. The family is on the run again after the recent attack on Palma

UNHCR continues scaling up for a quick humanitarian response, conducting needs assessment and proceeding with referrals based on the most urgent needs identified. We are planning missions to remote areas such as Mueda, where displaced people have arrived from Palma.

More than 43,000 people were already displaced in the Palma area as a result of previous attacks in Cabo Delgado, one of the poorest provinces in Mozambique. In total, some 670,000 people have been displaced in the Cabo Delgado province, as well as in neighbouring Nampula and Niassa provinces, since the conflict started in Cabo Delgado in October 2017.

READ  Mobile health teams will provide a lifeline to thousands of Armenia's conflict-displaced

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  Without safe migration, economic recovery will be limited

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

READ  Total number of Nigerians returned from Saudi Arabia hits 1,071

“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

READ  IOM’s Emergency Director in Mozambique: Communities uprooted by recent violence in Palma require greater support

 

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FG condemns killing of Nigerian footballer in UK

Kelvin

The Federal government has condemned the alleged killing of a Nigerian Footballer, Kelvin Igweani, by the UK police.

Recall that Igweani, a Nigerian Footballer, was shot dead by officers, who attended a call out to a house, where a child was found with serious injuries.

Reacting, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), in Abuja on Wednesday described the incident as very unfortunate,and sad.

Dabiri-Erewa condoled with the family of the deceased and the Nigerian communities in the UK while praying that God grants rest to the soul of the departed.

“We call on the UK government for a thorough and proper investigation to be carried out on the incident,” the statement added.

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