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UN refugee agency deplores killing of Somali asylum-seekers in Mozambique

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UN refugee agency deplores killing of Somali asylum-seekers in Mozambique

2011-05-07 02:38:30 GMT+7 (ICT)

UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) -- The United Nations refugee agency on Friday deplored the shooting and killing of four Somali asylum-seekers by police officers in Mozambique.

On April 29, four Somali nationals were shot dead in Namoto in Cabo Delgado province. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirmed the fatal incident through its government counterpart in Mozambique, the National Institute for Refugee Assistance (INAR).

The UNHCR is currently trying to get more details about the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the four Somalis from the Mozambican authorities in the capital city Maputo.

According to local authorities, an investigation has been launched into the incident. UNCHR urged the government of Mozambique to respect human rights of asylum-seekers and take appropriate action to ensure that those responsible will be prosecuted.

Mozambique has become an increasingly popular destination for Somalis attempting to flee violence and poverty in their homeland, with an upsurge in numbers starting early last year.

In June 2010, nine Somalis drowned while attempting to reach Mozambique. They were part of a larger group of 77 people that tried to reach Mozambican shores by boat but they were forced into the sea by crewmembers.

An estimated 1.5 million Somalis are internally displaced due to the violence in the southern and central regions. In Mogadishu, fighting, terrorist attacks and indiscriminate shelling are causing death and destruction, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee the city.

In addition, an approximate 678,000 Somalis live as refugees in the neighboring countries. In 2011, more than 200,000 people have been displaced in Somalia while another 70,000 have fled to neighbouring countries.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-05-07

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