The South African government has confirmed that well over 50 citizens who were feared missing in the wake of insurgent attack in Mozambique, Palma, have now been accounted for.

In a statement on Saturday, 3 April 2021, the Defence and Military Veterans ministry expressed much concern over the security situation at Cabo Delgado, the oil-rich region in Mozambique.

“Government can confirm that, with the exception of one person who died tragically in violence, more than 50 South Africans who were reported missing through the SA High Commission in Maputo have been accounted for,” said the ministry’s Siphiwe Dlamini.

Cabo Delgado has been under siege from Islamist militants from early as 2017. Just recently, insurgents struck again, invading a town called Palma – a popular tourist location.

South African, Adrian Nel, was killed in the attack when he was among dozens of people who attempted to flee the town on 24 March when Islamic jihadists claimed to have control of it. As far as we know, he is the only South African national whose life has been claimed in the invasion.

SADC to meet over Mozambique attack
Amid pressure to intervene, the South African National Development Community (SADC) will be convening an emergency meeting in the next week, to discuss the matter, including ways to offer additional support to the neighbouring country.

“South Africa looks forward to the SADC Troika meeting that has been called by the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi,” said the ministry.

Masisi serves as the SADC chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced earlier that members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) had been sent to evacuate South Africans from the country, who have been affected by the attacks.

“South Africa reiterates its full support to all attempts by SADC and AU that seek to silence the guns and realise peace and stability on the continent, including in Southern Africa,” the ministry further said.

“As a matter of principle, South Africa supports multilateral efforts to respond to the situation in Mozambique…South Africa will be guided by the outcomes of this meeting on how it can assist to stabilise the situation in Mozambique,”

South Africa’s Defence Ministry
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