An airlift is set up between Pemba and Maputo to remove almost 1,300 people from the north of Mozambique, who were rescued by ship on Saturday from the district of Palma. The area has been targeted by armed attackers since Wednesday, who have claimed dozens of lives and injured many more.
The operation is expected to run throughout Monday, a source informed news agency Lusa, during ongoing operations in the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado.
The flights are mainly transporting workers linked to the gas project from northern Mozambique to the Mozambican capital, 1,700 kilometers south, from where they will have connections to their provinces or to other countries, in the case of foreign employees, the source added.
Two sources of humanitarian organizations contacted in Pemba said that, except for the return of some professionals who were seconded in Palma, as teachers, there has not been a record of massive entry of displaced people to date, which has already happened after other waves of attacks in 2020.
This Sunday, the movement of all people who arrived on the ship, took place under strong security measures, in areas closed to journalists by the Defense and Security Forces (FDS).
Some people approached by Lusa outside the closed areas refused to provide information about the events in Palma and an employee of a company was interrupted by an alleged hierarchical superior when giving an interview to Mozambican public television, outside the airport of Pemba.
In Maputo, journalists were also prevented by security forces from approaching passengers upon arrival.
The district headquarters town that houses the gas projects in northern Mozambique was attacked on Wednesday by insurgent groups that have been terrorizing the region for three and a half years.
Dozens of civilians, including seven people trying to flee the main hotel in Palma, in northern Mozambique, were killed by the armed group that attacked the village on Wednesday, the Mozambican Ministry of Defense said today.
The violence is causing a humanitarian crisis with almost 700,000 displaced people and more than 2,000 deaths.