Hundreds of Mozambican refugees are fleeing to neighbouring Malawi as they escape fighting between rebels and government forces.
Fighters from the opposition group Renamo have been attacking police outposts near the Malawian border. The government forces in turn are torching villages where they believe the rebels are hiding.
The Mozambican opposition group is fighting for control of six of the country’s northern provinces.
Some twelve thousand refugees have since last December crossed over the border into Malawi and settled at the Kapise refugee camp.
The situation is expected to have a toll on Malawi’s economy as the country is already facing its worst drought in history.
UNHCR officials are already thinking about creating another camp following the overcrowding of the Kapise site.
“It is congested. It is very, very congested and to really improve the conditions here either you are looking at more land from the community, and the local community is already under so much pressure. They were already so generous or you are looking at relocation. And from the perspective of the UN to really improve these conditions, with this number of people, the relocation is the better option,” Mia Seppo, UN resident coordinator said.
The World Food Programme has sent about 240 metric tons of diverse food commodities in an effort to prevent malnutrition.
Close to a million people died and a million others fled to Malawi during Mozambique’s civil war from 1976 to 1992.