The conflict in Cabo Delgado, in northern Mozambique, has been going on for five years and is seriously affecting the lives of thousands of people. For the inhabitants, the difficulties in accessing basic services such as health, water, food, and housing are a constant struggle.
The inhabitants of Palma and Mocímboa da Praia are back in these two small port towns in northern Mozambique, retaken from Islamist insurgents, by Mozambican military forces with the support of the Rwandan army and the regional community, SADC.
In the north of Mozambique, the traces of war are everywhere, walls riddled with bullets, houses, shops, and even burned vehicles. Administrative buildings, gas stations, schools, and banks were destroyed. The towns of Mocímboa da Praia and Palma have become ghost towns.
It is time to rebuild, tells João Buchili, administrator of the city of Palma. “We are happy when we come home. As the security issue has improved, people are back and want to take control of their lives. They want to resume their agricultural activities. People cut wood to rebuild their houses as they were before”.
Mocímboa da Praia was taken on August 12th, 2020. An occupation that lasted 11 months and 27 days, causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee. The inhabitants of the region pushed towards the exodus, still live with the trauma and the fear of new attacks. Julio Rafael, 27 years old, is now going back to high school to try to get his BAC.