EU and IOM Support 138 Mozambicans Return Home After Violent Incidents in South Africa
Maputo – Following attacks and protests against foreign African nationals during the first week of September in South Africa, 138 Mozambicans received support from IOM, the European Union, and government agencies in South Africa and Mozambique, to return home.
The group of 138 Mozambicans, including 22 young children, were among more than 500 Mozambicans hosted at a community centre in Johannesburg, where local organizations assisted with food and other items, following the violence in different locations in South Africa. The group pf Mozambicans on September 12 were driven by bus to Moamba district, in Maputo province, and temporarily hosted at the Maguaza Centre, where they received food and had access to health facility. The following morning, they had transportation to their home communities in the Mozambican provinces of Sofala, Manica, Inhambane, Gaza and Maputo.
“We are going home now, with very little we could save from the attacks,” said one of Mozambican returnees, who expressed appreciation for the transportation assistance.
Several individuals in the group reported that their homes were burned during the attacks. Others lost personal belongings as they quickly left their homes. Not all had their personal documents on hand and many were unable to return to Mozambique on their own means. The transportation assistance was aimed at the most vulnerable individuals.
The Ambassador of the European Union in Mozambique, Antonio Sánchez-Benedito Gaspar said: “These unfortunate and regrettable attacks break dreams and livelihoods for Mozambican migrants who are contributing to South Africa´s economy and communities. We were pleased to support this immediate effort to protect the safety and well-being of vulnerable children and adults who decided to come back to their country.”
IOM Chief of Mission in Mozambique Katharina Schnoering said, “The protests and violence in South Africa rendered the Mozambican population in affected areas to be especially vulnerable. At the request of these Mozambican migrants, we were glad to provide this transportation assistance, in coordination with government partners.”
Assistance with transport has been funded by an EU funded Pilot Action on Voluntary Return and Sustainable, Community-Based Reintegration in Africa, implemented by IOM with an amount of 15 Million Euros. The main purpose of the programme is to contribute to dignified voluntary return and also for a sustainable community-based reintegration in targeted partner countries. Mozambique is one of the countries benefiting from this support.
From Mozambique, the action was led by the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) and the National Institute for Mozambican Communities Abroad (INACE). Assistance was also received from the Embassy of Mozambique in South Africa.
For more information, please contact Katharina Schnoering at IOM Mozambique, Tel: +258 863 511 806, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org