The National Forum of Community Radios (Forcom) expressed concern today about the situation of a group of community journalists in Cabo Delgado, who have been hiding in the woods for 10 days, due to armed violence in districts of that province.
Through a statement, Forcom reports that part of the journalists in the woods are incommunicado and are surviving in humanly deplorable and insecure conditions ”.
According to Forcom, on October 31, the insurgents occupied the Parish Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Muidumbe district), where the São Francisco de Assis Community Radio is located, and at least nine journalists were forced to flee to the woods with their respective families.
According to information provided by the forum, the radio facilities were destroyed and insurgents remain in the district. The insurgents’ stay in the region led a group of journalists to seek refuge in the woods, waiting for the opportunity to move to districts considered safer. .
Among community journalists, at least one lost a loved one, who was beheaded following the attacks.
“We are dying of thirst and hunger, three days without eating anything and I am with my nephews,” reported one of the journalists by telephone message quoted by Forcom.
The organization “is working on all the mechanisms in order to guarantee all the necessary support to journalists who are in the woods, to safeguard their physical integrity and safety. Forcom understands that the State must guarantee the security of its citizens ”, adds the document.
The province of Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, has been the scene for three years of armed attacks unleashed by forces classified as terrorists and which have intensified this year.
There are different estimates for the number of deaths, ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 victims. According to official figures, there are at least 435,000 internally displaced persons.
The capital of Cabo Delgado, Pemba, has been receiving a new wave of displaced people since mid-October, traveling in precarious boats.
Victims of violence in the region rich in natural gas have spread to other regions, notably the neighboring provinces of Niassa and Nampula, but local authorities have already offered aid to refugee families that reach further south, namely Zambezia and Sofala.