Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday assured South Africans that his government is working hard to secure the safety of its nationals living and working in Mozambique.
He expressed concerns about “the safety of our people in Pemba and in Palma” where a wave of terror attacks have caused chaos.
“We have already attended to the issue of evacuating those South Africans who are stranded in Mozambique,” he said.
At least one South African, identified as Adrian Nel, was killed last week in Palma. A South African military aircraft was dispatched to return his remains.
The official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) this week called for a “troop surge”, comprised of all Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique to counter the scourge of increased terrorist action.
The Islamic State on Monday formally claimed responsibility for the attack.
It made the claim on its Amaq news agency, saying its fighters had taken control of the town after days of clashes with security forces. It also claimed that it killed at least 55 people, including soldiers.
The DA is urging International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor to address the steady rise of problems with insurgents in the northern most province of Mozambique since mid-2018.
“The problems in Mozambique have the potential to destabilise the whole region and we cannot afford to let it be moved to the back burner or wait until Mozambique is torn apart before our neighbour extends a request for intervention from SADC,” said DA MP Kobus Marais.
He said South Africa must extend its hand to our neighbour in need, “and while the country should ready itself to assist Mozambique as part of a SADC contingent, the time has come to repatriate our citizens trapped in Palma as a matter of urgency”.
-0- PANA CU/MA 2April2021