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DW / Mozambican refugees in Malawi (2016)
With the silencing of the arms and peace negotiations moving forward, displaced citizens in Malawi want to return home to Mozambique. But they say it will take government support.
The guns have been silent in Mozambique for more than a year and a half, and the parties to the conflict, the Mozambican government and the largest opposition party, the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), have begun peace talks.
As a result, Mozambicans at the Luwani refugee centre in southern Malawi want to return home.
Manuel Solidjala Candicole is one of them. He used to sell agricultural produce in Tete province, but left home four years ago after soldiers killed a colleague of his, accusing him of supplying food to Renamo armed men.
Now, with the silencing of the weapons, it’s time to go home. “If there is silence there in our country, it’s good to go back. I did business there, I’m doing nothing here,” Candicole says.
But it’s not that easy. According to Candicole, “a lot of people are just waiting for transport. We do not have any money, we do not get any help, and we have no future here – that’s why we are asking for help to go home,” he says.
The 53-year-old refugee also wants to vote in the local elections scheduled for October 10 and in next year’s general election. “The election time is almost here, we want to go to work a little,” the refugee says.
Between 2015 and 2016, more than 12,000 Mozambicans crossed the border and sought refuge in Malawi, according to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Many have returned, but an estimated 3,000 people remain in the Luwani camp.
Bedinho Adelino, 44, is from Moatize, in the province of Tete, and travelled more than 300 kilometres to reach Malawi. He also wants transport home as soon as possible. “If the bus shows up, I’ll get on. Enough,” he says.
caption – Refugee camp in Malawi (2016)
Agreement for return
Twenty-year-old Hilario Elias sits in a small market outside the Luwani refugee camp, and says he also wants to return to Mozambique as soon as possible. He calls on the Mozambican government to sign an agreement with Malawi for the return of the refugees.
“The government of Malawi tells us that the presidents and the government are about to sign an agreement for us to go home. If the bus arrives today or tomorrow, we are ready,” he says.
But it may still take a while, and there is no immediate prospect of returning home. The UNHCR says it is not authorised to comment, and Mozambican diplomats in Malawi promised to respond soon.Source: Deutsche Welle
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