1. End of humanitarian assistance for IDP’s in Nampula Province forcing them to return

 

According to UNHCR, more than 350,000 people have returned to their areas of origin. In the two weeks from 8 to 21 March, IOM recorded about 3,978 arrivals, most of them (2,960) to the district of Mocímboa da Praia. IDP’s report that the major factor driving the return in recent months is the poor living conditions for displaced people, including restrictions on food aid, which falls short of what humanitarian organizations say they need, exacerbated by an increase in the number of IDPs in the second half of 2022. At the same time, the government, concerned with portraying a scenario of normalcy, has encouraged people to return to their areas of origin, suggesting that basic services such as water, energy, education and health have already been restored in some villages hit by violence.

The ongoing conflict has had a devastating impact on thousands of displaced people in northern Mozambique and caused profound damage to their mental health. In November 2022, there were about 1,028,743 displaced people, according to IOM, which corresponds to 80% of Cabo Delgado’s population in 2017. Many of them were forced to move not once, but several times. The trauma is significant for those who have lost loved ones and left their belongings behind. Children grew up without access to education and basic services. Women and girls have suffered sexual and physical violence, both in conflict zones and in camps for displaced people. These mental and physical traumas are part of a protracted crisis and need to be addressed appropriately, especially at a time when displaced people face the challenges of restarting their lives in their areas of origin.

With most infrastructure destroyed, health services are now severely limited in conflict-affected areas. According to ACAPS – an international non-governmental organization that provides humanitarian analysis – as of December 2022, the districts of Macomia, Mocímboa da Praia, Muidumbe and Quissanga had only one partially functioning unit per district, each serving an average of 109,000 people. Médecins Sans Frontières has resumed the provision of health care in the village of Mocímboa da Praia, using mobile clinics to carry out consultations in the village and in the most populous neighborhoods. Most of the assistance provided is for emergencies and does not address the psychosocial component. In other districts such as Nangade and Muidumbe, areas of limited access, the provision of psychosocial services is non-existent.

Psychosocial support, access to education and health is concentrated in the southern districts of Cabo Delgado, due to the insecurity in the northern districts, which has limited the movement of humanitarian organizations. In the northern districts security may be improving, but the lack of health services, education and livelihoods for populations need to be addressed. Without the involvement of international humanitarian organizations, the implementation of support projects can put populations in difficult situations, given the inability of the Mozambican authorities to provide these services. In Mocímboa da Praia, for example, the ongoing rehabilitation works include only the court, supported by the United Nations Development Programme and the National Institute of Social Security. Infrastructure such as schools and hospitals are still destroyed. The absence of humanitarian organizations in districts such as Mocímboa da Praia, Palma, Muidumbe, Nangade and Macomia jeopardises the reintegration of returning IDP’s.

The reintegration of former insurgent fighters into their communities is a challenge. Despite a series of amnesties to former insurgent fighters throughout 2022, no rehabilitation and resocialization programs have been put in place. This could lead to reprisals in communities, or even threats to public order. https://avoz.org/cabo-ligado-reintegracao-de-regressados/

 


 

2. Exploitation of resources leads to increased violations of human rights

 

Civil society has raised alarm about the increase in human rights violations in communities where natural resource exploitation takes place. According to Adriano Nuvunga, president of the Mozambican Network of Human Rights Defenders and director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), violations occur on two levels: “The first level is the denial of communities in their right to development and the second is the abuses and violations that involve actions even by the police and the security forces that evict communities by force, including artisanal miners,” he explains. Adriano Nuvunga also says that “human rights defenders and social leaders” do not escape violations. People who “seek to advocate for the rights of communities to development with national and international companies that exploit natural resources are threatened, persecuted and, in some cases, murdered.” Nuvunga says that “there is a need to strengthen the judiciary so that it continues, without corruption, to receive and deal urgently with cases of abuse and violation of human rights, in the context of business [of exploitation of natural resources] in Mozambique.”

In the province and Nampula, there are two multinationals that explore sand dunes: the Chinese mining company Haiyu Mozambique Mining, which mines ilmenite and zircon in Angoche, and the Irish company Kenmare, which does dune mining in Larde and Moma. The latter has been accused of violations against local communities in the past. Regarding the recent complaints, the governor of Nampula says he is unaware of cases of human rights violations at the level of companies operating in the province. “I am not aware of the violation of any human rights in our province of Nampula, so I will need to find out if this phenomenon occurs,” he says. “But it is to be condemned if it actually occurs in our province. Human rights must be preserved and respected, and every citizen at birth must be protected. If there is, we will work to fight vigorously and punish those who are trying to perpetuate this evil at the provincial level,” the governor said. The Nampula Police, through spokesman Zacarias Nacute, denies the involvement of the authorities in any violation of human rights, especially attacks on the populations living in the vicinity of companies that exploit natural resources.

Mozambique: Exploitation of resources leads to an increase in violations – DW – 21/04/2023

 


 

3. IMF confirms Total, Exxon return to Cabo delgado

 

The economist of the African Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Thibault Lemaire, said on Sunday (April 23) that he expects the consortia led by France’s TotalEnergies and the American ExxonMobil to begin production of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in 2027 and 2029, respectively. “Production of two onshore LNG exploration projects is expected to start in 2027 and 2029, which will have a positive impact on growth through production, tax revenues and the current account,” said the IMF economist, taking for granted that TotalEnergies will even return to Mozambique after the suspension of work due to violence in the north of the country, and that ExxonMobil will soon proceed with the positive Final Investment Decision (DFI) for Mozambique. Thibault Lemaire stated that, following the release of the report on the forecasts for sub-Saharan Africa, presented in the framework of the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, that the “country continues to face significant development challenges, notably due to the increased frequency and severity of natural disasters related to climate change”. After the 4.1% recorded in 2022, a considerable acceleration from the 2.3% growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021, the IMF expects an acceleration of the economic expansion this year. “For 2023, and in the medium term, we expect a new recovery. The 5% growth in 2023 will be driven by extractive industries, including Coral South, the first liquefied natural gas project,” whose first export was already made at the end of last year, he pointed out. Mozambique has three development projects approved for the exploitation of natural gas reserves in the Rovuma basin, ranked among the largest in the world, off the coast of Cabo Delgado. Two of these projects are larger and envisage channelling gas from the seabed to land, cooling it in a factory to export it by sea in a liquid state. One is led by TotalEnergies (Area 1 consortium) and the works have progressed to an indefinite suspension, following an armed attack on Palma in March 2021, when the French energy company declared that it would only resume work when the zone was safe. The other is the as-yet-unannounced investment in sight led by ExxonMobil and Eni (Area 4 consortium).

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