Journalists survive 15 days in the woods to escape attacks in Mozambique

All journalists from a community radio in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, are safe after fleeing to the bush after an attack by rebels in the district of Muidumbe.

“The nine journalists who make up the newsroom of Rádio Comunitária São Francisco de Assis are already in apparently safe areas, after having survived 15 days in the woods due to the intense attacks carried out by insurgents,” the organization explained in a statement.

Gradually and after traveling long distances on foot, with family members, including children, the survivors managed to reach safe locations.

“After having experienced communication problems with the last two [jornalistas] who were in the woods, on Monday Forcom received the information that Beatriz Luís and Moisés José were already meeting with relatives, in the Montepuez district “, he added.

However, they left everything behind and now live “in precarious conditions”, like thousands of other displaced people.

As with other refugees, some members of that group of journalists lost family members, murdered in Muidumbe by the rebels who terrorize the province.

“My father was beheaded. We are dying of thirst and hunger, three days without eating anything and I am with my nephews. We are asking for help,” reported one of them in a telephone message quoted by Forcom on 9 November.

The escape has lasted since the October 31 attack and the portrait they make now, in statements released by the organization, is of an “uncontrolled” situation with many abandoned bodies and children alone, lost in the countryside.

Muidumbe was the most recent district taken by rebels this year, after having occupied others for several days, still maintaining control of Mocímboa da Praia, a coastal village and one of the main in the province, according to the most recent report on the conflict, prepared by a parliamentary committee.

Meanwhile, the commander-general of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM), Bernardino Rafael, said on Thursday that the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) had recovered the district headquarters of Muidumbe.

Armed violence in Cabo Delgado is causing a humanitarian crisis with about two thousand deaths and 500 thousand displaced people, without housing or food, mainly concentrated in the provincial capital, Pemba.

The province where Africa’s largest private investment for the exploitation of natural gas is advancing has been under attack by insurgents for three years and some of the incursions have been claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group since 2019.

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