Southern Africa: Development Plan for Malawian Border Region

Maputo – The Mozambican government intends to carry out an Integrated Development Plan along the border with Malawi in order to improve living conditions for the people living here, around 6,000 of whom have fled into Malawi, largely because of clashes between the defence and security forces and gunmen of the rebel movement Renamo.

Several government members, including President Filipe Nyusi, held a “reflection meeting” in Maputo on Monday to discuss the situation of the refugees in Malawi.

The Deputy Minister of State Administration, Roque Samuel, told reporters that, as part of the integrated development plan, “a range of facilities that are still missing will be installed to allow the life of the population to return to normal”.

But to do that “there is a series of conditions that should be analaysed, taking into account the real reasons for the displacement of these people into Malawi”.

The first Mozambicans in the current wave of refugees crossed into Malawi from Tete province in June 2015, and their situation soon became a matter of concern for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

In addition to the Tete refugees, Samuel pointed out that, in the other two provinces bordering on Malawi, Zambezia and Niassa, normal cross-border movement is continuing, as Mozambicans walk over the border to take advantage of the Malawian health services and other facilities.

He added that the great majority of people in areas affected by the conflict with Renamo have not fled into Malawi.

“In a universe of a million people living in the conflict zones, the great majority are still in Mozambique”, said Samuel.

The government, he added, is working to normalize the lives of the people threatened by the current crisis.

Source: All Africa