Military escort brings food supplies to desperate Palma

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Food supplies have finally reached the town of Palma, in the far north-east of Cabo Delgado, thanks to a military escort to allow goods vehicles to travel safely from the town of Nangade, without being attacked by insurgents.

At least 14 vehicles arrived in Palma yesterday, at least two people in Palma told Zitamar News. They had driven from Nangade through the village of Pundanhar, which has been the site of recent ambushes by insurgents.

The supplies will alleviate an increasingly desperate situation, which had seen some Palma residents decide on Tuesday morning to leave Palma — unescorted — to head to Nangade in search of food.

Videos shared with Zitamar showed Palma’s market empty of food, with hungry customers waving cash at traders who had almost nothing to sell. A 25kg sack of rice cost MZN 6,000 ($80) in Palma on Monday, 1 February.

The local health centre was also empty of medicines on Tuesday, 2 February, a source in Palma told Zitamar — saying people were being issued with prescriptions, but leaving the pharmacy empty-handed.

Shortages have been exacerbated by an apparent decision by the Tanzanian authorities to ban the export of goods across the Rovuma river to Cabo Delgado. Traders in Palma told Zitamar that at least one cross-border trader had been arrested in Tanzania and held for two weeks after trying to take food into Mozambique.

This article was produced by Zitamar and Mediafax under the Cabo Ligado project, in collaboration with ACLED and with support from Crisis Group. The contents of the article are the sole responsibility of Zitamar News.

© 2021, Zitamar LTD. All rights reserved.

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