Maputo — The Mozambican police in the northern province of Nampula have detained 20 Ethiopian citizens who entered the country illegally, and were trying to make their way to South Africa.
According to a report in the Beira daily “Diario de Mocambique”, after a three month journey from Ethiopia, the 20 were crowded into a Nampula house, where they were making plans for the next stage in their journey.
But the presence of so many foreigners in the same house was noticed, and people living nearby called in the police, who arrested the 20 Ethiopians, plus the Mozambican owner of the house, Mussa Raul.
Raul told reporters that he accepted the Ethiopians into his house in good faith. He said a man whom he named only as Ibrahimo gave him 2,500 meticais (about 82 US dollars) to accommodate five people for two hours.
But when Ibrahimo returned he was accompanied by 20 Ethiopians, whom he said he would collect the following morning.
According to Nampula police spokesperson Size Panguene, some of the Ethiopians ar malnourished and in poor health. One of them has been hospitalized suffering from severe diarrhoea.
“We’re hungry and ill”, said Adinat Ashebo, one of the Ethiopians. He said the group had begun its journey in December, and had travelled through Kenya and Tanzania. They had then crossed the Rovuma river into Mozambique.