Mozambican police have arrested 23 Ethiopia nationals intent on sneaking into South Africa, media confirmed.
VOA Radio said the Ethiopians were arrested at Vanduzi joint in Manica Province, while allegedly trying to enter South Africa illegally.
Manica Province is about 80km north of Maputo.
“They were arrested while sleeping and are detained at Vanduzi police post, waiting to be repatriated,” VOA quoted Mr Jorge Machava, an immigration officer, as saying
“They were pale and starving due to the long journey,” he said, adding; “lack of work and poor living conditions make them risk such trips”.
Mr Machava was further quoted saying that the Mozambican borders were vulnerable but the police worked hard to patrol them.
Mozambique attracts many illegal nationals due to its natural resources and its strategic location.
Earlier this month, Mozambique authorities said they deported at least 4,000 foreign nationals in a crackdown against illegal migration in 2017 alone.
According to the southern African country's authorities, Malawi nationals topped the list with 871 deportations, Zimbabweans with 744 and Tanzanians with 322.
Cabo Delgado and Tete provinces had the most influx.
Cabo Delgado Province, about 1,663km north of Maputo, boasts of minerals such as gold, grenadines, aquamarines, tourmalines, blue topaz and green tourmalines.
The northernmost Mozambican province borders Tanzania and is divided into 16 districts, with an area of 77,867km² and a population of 1,893,156.
The mineral industry plays a significant role in the Mozambique economy.
In January, Mozambique police deported 11 Malawi nationals intent on sneaking into South Africa.
Both Mozambique and South Africa are members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The SADC bloc also includes Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
South Africa is the largest economy and the most developed SADC state.