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Tanzania denies to receive Mozambican refugees for security reasons, says official

June 12, 2021

By Jorge Joaquim

Tanzania’s policy of returning Mozambican refugees fleeing the terrorism in Cabo Delgado province who cross the border is being done with the Mozambican government’s agreement, a spokesman for Mozambique’s foreign ministry has said.

The spokesman said that the two countries had agreed that Tanzania would transport refugees from the Namoto border post, with protection, 250-300km to the Negomano border post, which was thought to be in a safer area, before returning them to Mozambican territory.

He added that Tanzania had decided not to create a refugee camp on the border, for security reasons. Earlier this month, United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said that Tanzania had refused asylum to around 3,800 Mozambicans.

Tanzanian authorities are only allowing Mozambicans into their territory for a small shopping trip in Mtambaswala, the border post on the Tanzanian side.

Leaked notes from a meeting at a Tanzanian think tank with strong links to that country’s foreign ministry show some frustration in Tanzania at Mozambique’s inability to contain the insurgency in Cabo Delgado thus far, according to Savana newspaper.

Tanzania’s foreign minister, Liberata Mulamula, spoke at the meeting and said military intervention should come from the SADC Stand-By Brigade, which should also coordinate any other outside military help. A former senior Tanzanian diplomat said Mozambique has not yet invited any outside military help.

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