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Namoto border crossing reopens

The vital trade route between Mozambique and Tanzania was closed following the insurgent attack on Palma in March 2021

Credit: Karin Theron

The Namoto border crossing between Mozambique and Tanzania finally reopened this week after being closed for more than two years, local sources confirmed.

The crossing connects Palma to the Tanzanian city of Mtwara, one of the main supply centres for northern Cabo Delgado. It was shut in April 2021 following the attack by Islamic State-affiliated insurgents on the town of Palma in Cabo Delgado province.

The reopening of the crossing will be a boon for local traders on both sides of the border, who previously had to go via the border post at Negomano, approximately 350km away, which could cost up to MZN2,000 ($31) to cross.

The closure of the crossing forced some to seek clandestine ways of getting across the border.

"If you want to go to Tanzania you can, but not legally. It’s not recommended, but you can take the risk,” one Palma resident told Zitamar in May.

Frelimo Secretary General Roque Silva told a rally in Palma on 12 April that the road had been repaired and border police would soon be installed, sparking hopes that the crossing would reopen imminently. It has only just managed to reopen because Tanzanian authorities were slower to make the necessary arrangements, according to Carta de Moçambique.

The road to the border is still in poor condition, a local source claimed.

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