The World Food Programme has temporarily suspended evacuation flights from the town of Palma in northern Mozambique due to a deteriorating insecurity.
A United Nations representative has told the Reuters News Agency that the WFP is concerned about the increasing violence in the Cabo Delgado province, which is driving increased displacement of populations and leading to a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the region.
Aid workers at large in affected areas to provide food and support to Mozambique:
A little too late for SA to send troops
Meanwhile, independent security and defense analyst, Helmoed Heitman, says the South African government’s sending of troops to evacuate its citizens from Palma and Pemba in Mozambique, is too little too late and undermines the country’s standing on the continent.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said earlier that the defence force was working hard to secure the safety of South Africans stranded in Mozambique.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says SANDF troops sent to rescue South Africans from Palma:
Heitman says government should have intervened long ago to protect the lives of its citizens.
“There was a fair bit of warning time and, ideally, we should have acted before anybody got killed. It’s a bit late to evacuate someone after he has been killed. We knew there was a big problem at the hotel in Palma. We knew there were South Africans there. So far, it seems only one of ours has been killed, but we don’t know that yet for a fact.
I would’ve wanted the government to actually maybe be a bit more pushy and say ‘sorry, we are going in to get our people out, whether you like it or not.’ The long term problem is that this undermines our standing in Africa. You know, we want to have the permanent seat in the Security Council; we want to be the country that speaks for Africa, but when our own citizens are at risk, we initially do nothing. And not just South Africa, SADC should have leaned on Mozambique and said, ‘listen, this is not just your problem, it is going to affect other countries,” says Heitman.
President Cyril Ramaphosa weighs-in on situation in Mozambique:
– Additional reporting by Reuters.