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Search for missing Zimbabwean national continues in Mozambique

Efforts are underway in the troubled Mozambican region of Cabo Delgado to establish the whereabouts of a Zimbabwean who went missing in the town of Palma following terrorist attacks last month.

The attackers mounted the assault on Palma from three different directions
The attackers mounted the assault on Palma from three different directions (Picture by Sky News)

In a statement, the acting secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Lovemore Mazemo said Zimbabwe is closely working with Mozambique to establish the whereabouts of the unaccounted Zimbabwean.

“Following disturbances in Palma, Mozambique, the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Maputo is in communication with the Government of Mozambique and the companies in Palma.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade hereby confirms that from the contacts so far established with the authorities in Palma, one Zimbabwean is not yet accounted for. Efforts to establish his whereabouts are ongoing,” he said.

Islamic State-linked insurgents recently ran amok in the town of Palma leaving dozens dead and many more maimed.

According to the United Nations over 10 000 people fled the coastal town of Palma when insurgents invaded on March 24 in one of the deadliest attacks by the terrorists since 2017.

The killing of civilians by terrorists has received global condemnation and yesterday President Mnangagwa along with five other regional leaders resolved to respond to the crisis in Mozambique with proportionate action.

“Zimbabwe, together with other SADC member states, is working closely with the Government of the Republic of Mozambique on a regional strategy towards ending the terrorist activities in Cabo Delgado and safeguarding Mozambique’s and the region’s peace and security,” said Ambassador Mazemo.

Shops, offices and a hospital in Palma were vandalised (Picture by Sky News)
Shops, offices and a hospital in Palma were vandalised (Picture by Sky News)

Last month the insurgents seized Palma, a coastal town close to a multi-billion-dollar liquid natural gas (LNG) project, after a coordinated attack.

They then vandalised a hospital and torched banks and a prosecutor’s office, State television TVM said at the weekend.

The militants, who are known in Mozambique as al-Shabab, have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group.

The deadly assault on the town of Palma resulted in energy giant Total suspending its multi-billion-dollar natural gas project close to the town. While the United Nations also suspended aid flights citing security concerns.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said normalcy is slowly returning after the terrorists were chased away by the military from the town.

“Our government has already expressed its needs to the international community to deal with terrorism. This international support . . . is being evaluated,” he said. The Herald