The BBC has reported that the UN has called for urgent measures to protect civilians in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, where ISIS has stepped up attacks – with reports of beheadings and kidnappings. The UN says over the last three years more than three hundred and fifty thousand people have been displaced by the violence. Since mid October over fourteen thousand have fled by sea to the provincial capital, Pemba – with dozens drowning when their boat capsized.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has warned that thousands of people are trapped in areas affected by the violence in northern Mozambique. Michelle Bachelet said people were in a desperate situation and some had been hiding in the bush for days. She called on the government to guarantee unhindered access for humanitarian agencies which have not been able to reach many areas for months. Over the last week the Islamist militants are reported to have carried out the single worst attack since the conflict began three years ago. The jihadists turned a village football pitch into an execution ground and beheaded more than fifty people.