Councillors in Nsanje are asking the government to open a refugee camp as Chididi, a second such request in a week as numbers of those running away from violence in Mozambique swell.
Chairman of Nsanje District Council Piriminta said the district has over 600 refugees from Mozambiue.
“There is need to put these people at an organised place where we can be able to monitor them. There is need to screen them,” said Piriminta.
More than 6,000 Mozambicans have fled to neighboring Malawi since mid-December to escape clashes between government forces and armed militants of the main opposition party Renamo, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Most of the refugees are coming from the western coal-mining province of Tete, where government forces are battling armed militia of the Mozambique National Resistance, or Renamo, Tina Ghelli, UNHCR’s spokeswoman for southern Africa, said.
In Chikhwawa, district officials are asking the government to open a refugee camp at Chapananga.
Authorities in Mwanza also want to reopen Luwani Refugee camp.
Mwanza district commissioner Gift Rapozzo, however said the number of people running away from Mozambiue is now going down.
”The flow of the refugees is going down. We used to have 150 people coming here every day but this has gone down to 30 or 40 a day,” said Rapozzo.
He said the district currently hosts 12000 refugees.
Renamo rebels are battling government forces in Mozambique triggering fears of another civil war in the fast growing economy of southern Africa.
Renamo and the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique, or Frelimo, fought a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992. Frelimo won the country’s first democratic elections two years later. The party has ruled the southeast African nation of 26 million people since the country’s 1975 independence from Portugal.
Sporadic clashes erupted in 2013 in central Mozambique, and a cease-fire was agreed in September the following year in time for elections the next month. Fighting flared again last year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :