Kapise Refugee Camp Visit- March 2016

Catholic Women Organization in the IMBISA region Standing Committee Meeting-Lesotho February 2016
November 14, 2016
Catholic Women Organization in IMBISA region institutional capacity building and secretariat strengthening
November 14, 2016

Kapise Refugee Camp Visit- March 2016

As recently been reported by the media in March 2016 that there are more than 6000 Mozambican refugees in Kapise south of Malawi who have fled armed conflict in Mozambique between the ruling party Frelimo and opposition party Renamo troops, IMBISA mobilized a team to undertake an inquiry and investigation in Malawi and produce a situational report to inform the Catholic Bishops about the situation so that possibly informed interventions can be undertaken.

Conditions in the Camp

  • There are very limited Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities which may result in the outbreak of diseases
  • There are food shortages which may result in malnutrition among the children who are the majority of the refugees
  • The shelter is deplorable being made of wooden poles and grass
  • The education of the school going age is suffering as the nearby school cannot accommodate all the children and also because of language differences
  • The majority of the refugees are women and children, implying that men have stayed behind to take part in the armed conflict

 

Recommendations

  • There is need for the Catholic Church to intervene in the Mozambican conflict as it dates back to 20 years or more ago. It is imperative for a partnership between Mozambique Episcopal Conference and Malawi Bishops Conference with support from IMBISA to forge an alliance and help refugees in the camp and also find ways to negotiate with the conflicting parties in Mozambique.
  • There is need for peace building and reconciliation as wounds from the liberation war have not been healed as evident with the emerging war after the signing of the peace accord in Rome 20 years ago.
  • There is also a need for a research to get to the roots of the causes of the conflict so that lasting solutions can be found

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