Protection Update #1: Forced Displacement Chiúre District, Cabo Delgado, Mozambique


Since February 9th, a series of attacks launched by non-state armed groups (NSAG) in Chiúre forced approximately 3,070 families (15,354 individuals) (out of which 10,521 are currently hosted in IDP sites) to flee within Chiúre District in Cabo Delgado and 33,218 individuals to Erati district, Nampula province. On Feb. 9 Nacoja village was attacked where NSAGs burned an unspecified number of houses and churches. On Feb. 12th, the NSAGs attacked Mazeze village causing a high level of destruction. Local officials reported the attacks lasted almost the entire day, destroying and burning houses, religious buildings, and several public infrastructure, including a Health Centre. From Feb. 12th to Feb. 23rd, NSAGs further attacked Muirota, N’Quira, Magaia, Muamula, Napala, Mahipa, M’mala, Menajane, Napala villages, setting fire to houses, churches, schools, and shops, firing shots, looting food & other goods, and causing civilian casualties. Specifically in Mahipa, NSAGs reportedly burned two trucks, including a fuel truck; the attack triggered massive displacement to Namapa, Erati District, Nampula. In response to the attacks mentioned above, the affected families have sought refuge in displacement sites and host communities in Chiure, Metuge, and Erati.

In light of the displacement and the preliminary reports on protection needs & concerns, the Protection Cluster participated in a field mission on February 23 to have a better understanding of the protection environment, advocate for the respect of protection principles, and report back on the protection needs of the affected population. The Protection Cluster benefitted from the support of UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA, Light for the World, Plan International and ADEL to conduct needs assessments through individual meetings and focus group discussions with the affected population as well as meetings with the local authorities in Chiúre (Administrator, SDPI, INGD based in Pemba, PRM Commander, SDSMAS, Department of Economic Activities, Chefe de Posto of Chiúre Sede). The Protection Cluster consulted communities in Megaruma, Namissiri, and Meculane. Other protection partners reacted swiftly to the needs of affected people such as UNICEF, Plan International, Save the Children, ADEL, Light for the World, and GRC.

Challenges regarding the response are linked to the closing of projects in southern districts. Recently, some partners have already withdrawn their presence and scaled-down assistance activities both in Chiúre before the emergency break-out. Response to the protection needs remains limited and most of the newly displaced persons continue to be exposed to protection risks. As the mission was carried out, new arrivals were being recorded. Chiúre remains a dynamic context.