United Nations teams have received “worrying” reports that Tanzania has rejected over 1,000 people seeking refuge from an attack on a town in northern Mozambique by ISIL-affiliated fighters, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said.
The March 24 attack on the town of Palma, adjacent to gas developments worth $60bn, sent the town’s residents scattering in all directions, with some fleeing into dense forest while others escaped by boat.
The authorities say dozens have been killed, while thousands have fled the town of some 75,000 people.
Some headed north towards Tanzania, aid workers said.
“UNHCR teams … have received worrying reports from displaced populations that over 1,000 people fleeing Mozambique and trying to enter Tanzania were not allowed to cross the border to seek asylum,” its statement said on Tuesday.
It called on Mozambique’s neighbours to provide access to those seeking protection.
The UNHCR had earlier told Reuters news agency it does not have access to the border or affected areas, without giving a reason.
Two other aid workers said Tanzania had refused their organisations access, while the Mozambique side of the border was considered too dangerous.