On Tuesday there was fighting between Renamo guerrillas and Mozambican government forces. We heard that three government soldiers had died, and that two Renamo gunmen had been injured and were being held at the rural hospital of Chicuque. But we don’t know for sure because there’s conflicting information. Since then, we heard that the area has returned to normal.
People have been leaving their homes since January 1. On Sunday morning our crew went to the town of Pembe, in Homoine District, which Renamo guerrillas have made their provincial base. Along the way there were people of all ages fleeing in different directions. We found cars loaded with all kinds of things, like goats, pigs, chickens, beds, housewares: whatever people could prioritise when they decided to flee.
Photo sent to FRANCE 24 by Berlaves Alexandre. It shows people fleeing homes in the district of Homoine, where clashes were reported on January 7.
There was a 70-year-old man with his wife. He said he had six children and countless grandchildren. We found him pushing his bicycle loaded with their few possessions. He told me they had to sleep in the woods and didn’t know where they could go. He said he had seen people from his neighbourhood fleeing, so he and his wife just followed them. They didn’t even know why they had had to abandon their home.