Mengesha Kebede, the UNHCR Representative in South Africa, told IRIN on Wednesday the refugees had been crossing into Mozambique since the end of last year. They now number an estimated 300 people, most of them women and children.
"They have come mainly from the Democratic Republic Congo and the Great Lakes region after walking along the Zambian border and then crossing over into Mozambique," he said. "They did not attempt to go to well established refugee camps in Tanzania."
He said UHNCR had sent emergency food and other supplies to the refugees and was helping the Mozambique government provide for them. He said UNHCR wanted to ensure that others entering the country can be assisted. He said UNHCR had a dispatched a team to Niassa to conduct a survey of the situation.
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