The Denis Hurley Peace Institute of the SACBC had an extensive travel through out Nampula Province, 15-24 November 2022, to assess the situation on the ground regarding the internally displaced persons.
The DHPI reports that despite the ongoing attacks in Cabo Delgado, spreading to the south and west of the Province and resulting in well publicised movements of IDP’s into Nampula Province, UNHCR statistics have remained surprisingly constant for at least the past year – above 800 000, but never quite reaching a million. Then the latest International Organization for Migration (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix gives the total for Nampula province as 76 568, with only 2 895 registered in Rapale, and only 168 in Namiconha and none registered in Nacala Porto. On 3 October 2022 the Director of the Mozambican National Disaster Management Agency (INGD) claimed that most of the 47 000 IDP’s who had fled to Nampula Province had returned, and that no more than 18 000 remained. “How is this possible?”, questioned the DHPI.
According to DHPI the statistics look like that because the UNHCR and IOM depend on the statistics they receive from the government. Problem with that is that the government is anxious to create
the impression that the situation is stable and that IDP’s are returning to their places of origin – the minimum requirement for TOTAL to resume its operations at Afungi. “Hence the downplaying (even denial) of the rapidly escalating humanitarian catastrophe in Nampula Province,” said DHPI
The DHPI found that the situation on the ground flatly contradicts official statistics. From the provincial boundary at the Lurio River all the way to Namialo (a distance of more than 90 km), the entire expanse of road is lined with newly constructed huts of IDP’s on both sides of the road. At Namiconha, where only 168 IDP’s are reported, humanitarian workers already have more than 200
families on their lists – more than 1 000 people. At Rapale, where a total of 2 895 are reported, well-placed sources in the community have already registered more than 6 000 IDP’s, in one settlement alone. And at Nacala Porto, where IOM claims that there are no IDP’s, DHPI visited a project supporting large numbers of IDP’s in only one neighbourhood – local sources confirm that there are many IDP’s in all neighbourhoods of the city. Church sources confirm that there are large IDP communities in almost all towns and villages all the way to the southern border of the Province.
The peace institute is also reporting on Rapale, a year later; DHPI visited Rapale in November 2021, and reported on large numbers of IDP’s arriving there, often on foot, from Cabo Delgado, and living in precarious conditions. It also reports on Cabo Delgado, about the return of the Napharamas, “groups of young men who received vaccinations of a secret herbal formula from traditional healers, deemed to make them impervious to bullets. They used these powers to free their land of occupying forces. Over the past three weeks, the Napharama’s have been re-appearing in Cabo Delgado – at
first in Balama and Namuno, but now spreading rapidly across the Province.”
Full report below