Dirco to send more staff to Mozambique to locate South Africans after Palma attacks
Cape Town - The South African government on Saturday expressed concern over the recent attacks on foreign nationals in Palma, northern Mozambique.
“It is with grave concern to note that South Africans were also affected by these attacks,” Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement.
“In this regard, South Africa, through its Mission in Maputo is working with the local authorities on verifications, as well as providing the necessary consular services.”
According to reports the attacks started on Wednesday.
Communications to Palma have been difficult as communication lines had been cut on Wednesday night, it was reported.
The Government of the Republic of South Africa has noted with concern the recent attacks in Palma, northern Mozambique, against foreign nationals which took place on Friday, 26 March 2021.— DIRCO South Africa (@DIRCO_ZA) March 27, 2021
Monyela said that South Africa was ready to work with the Mozambican government to pursue peace and stability.
“The Mission in Mozambique is being re-enforced with additional staff in order to handle the work at hand of locating, identifying and responding to the respective needs of the affected,” he said.
“South Africa stands ready to work with the government of Mozambique in pursuit of lasting peace and stability.”
The Mission in Mozambique is being re-enforced with additional staff in order to handle the work at hand of locating, identifying and responding to the respective needs of the affected.— DIRCO South Africa (@DIRCO_ZA) March 27, 2021
AFP reported on Saturday that according to security sources militants took control of the town of Palma, near major gas development project involving France's Total and other international energy companies. According to sources, the army pulled back but fighting in area was ongoing.
Around 180 people, including expatriate gas workers that were trapped for three days in a hotel were evacuated overnight but some died in an ambush after they left, AFP reported.
According to a Reuters report, suspected Islamist insurgents attacked a convoy of fleeing civilians, including foreign workers on Friday.
According to their report, at least one person was killed and a number of other people were injured according to sources and organisations with employees inside a hotel where people have been taking refuge in the town of Palma.
But Reuters said it could not independently verify the accounts and officials at Mozambique’s foreign ministry, defence ministry and provincial government did not immediately respond to calls.
AFP reported that the province of Cabo Delgado, where Palma is located, has been the target of Islamist insurgency since 2017.
African News Agency (ANA)