South African military personnel in Mozambique are assisting High Commission staff with consular services including repatriation and are only to be found at the diplomatic mission in Maputo.
That’s the official word from Department of Defence (DoD) head of communication, Siphiwe Dlamini, in a statement issued by GCIS (Government Communication and Information System). The statement was released as emanating from the Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans.
“South Africa is concerned about the security situation at Cabo Delgado in the northern part of Mozambique and remains seized with the safety of South Africans in that province.
“Against this background, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is providing support to the South African High Commission with regard to the repatriation of South Africans who may wish to return.
“Government can confirm, with the exception of one person who died tragically in violence, more than 50 South Africans reported missing through the South African High Commission in Maputo have been accounted for.
“On 30 March, the South African Air Force (SAAF) repatriated the body of the deceased together with his family.
“The SANDF continues to provide logistical support to the South African High Commission in Maputo with regard to consular services, including repatriation. This is the extent of the engagement of SANDF in Mozambique,” the statement reads.
It goes on to welcome Southern African Development Community (SADC) talks announced by Botswana President, Mokgweetsi Masisi.
The meeting, convened by Masisi as chair of the regional bloc’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, is scheduled for this week (no specific date is given in the statement). It is, the statement has it, “occasioned by the ongoing insurgency affecting the Province of Cabo Delgado in the northern part of Mozambique”.
“The meeting provides an important platform for regional engagement on measures to resolve the security challenges confronting Mozambique.
“South Africa as a member of SADC, will participate in the meeting with a view to assist in developing a solution that will secure peace and continued development in Mozambique.
“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.
“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.”