MAPUTO, April 17– Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has expressed his distress at the suffering of Mozambicans targeted by anti-foreigner attacks in the South African port city of Durban.
Speaking during a ceremony at which three assistant attorneys-general were sworn into office here Thursday, Nyusi said he had watched “with great concern and anguish the suffering of our fellow citizens who are the victims of acts of xenophobia in our brother country, South Africa”.
He said the Mozambican government was determined to make every effort to mitigate the situation. “I want to tell the victims and their families that my government is determined to do everything to mitigate the suffering of our brothers, and provide them with all necessary assistance.”
The Durban violence has claimed at least five lives, and two of the victims are Mozambicans. As the violence escalates, so the number of frightened foreign residents taking refuge in accommodation centres has risen. As of Thursday morning there were thought to be about 600 Mozambicans in these centres.
The number of Mozambicans asking to be repatriated home has risen to 300, and the first bus taking them back to Mozambique left Durban on Thursday morning. The Mozambican Interior Minister, Jaime Monteiro, has gone to Durban in order to accompany the repatriation.
Meanwhile, threats of reprisals against South Africans have been reported from the natural gas processing centre at Temane, in Inhambane Province, run by the South African petrochemical giant Sasol, and from the Moatize coal mine, in Tete Province, operated by the Brazilian company Vale.
South Africans at Temane are said to be abandoning the country, for fear of reprisals, but this has yet to be confirmed by Sasol.