Mozambique Political Unrest: Report Reveals Racist Rescue Efforts

A child plays in one of the alleys of the port of Paquitequete near Pemba on March 29, 2021. Sailing boats are expected to arrive with people displaced from the coasts of Palma and Afungi after suffering attacks by armed groups since last March 24.

Photo by ALFREDO ZUNIGA/AFP via Getty Images.

Mozambique Political Unrest: Report Reveals Racist Rescue Efforts

An Amnesty International Report has revealed that the safety of White people and dogs was prioritised, before Black Mozambicans, during rescue efforts in the aftermath of the Jihadist attacks in March 2021.

Amnesty International has released a shocking report detailing how rescue efforts during Mozambique's Jihadist insurgence attacks were particularly racist. The report states that eleven Black survivors from the attacks witnessed White people being rescued first, along with their dogs, in Palma. Contrarily, a private security company Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) has denied the report's findings. DAG was procured to assist the Mozambican government in fighting the attacks, and was also involved in the alleged racist rescue efforts.

Read: Mozambique's Political Unrest: Where Things Stand

According to News24, white people at the Palma Hotel were airlifted to safety before Black people. The Amnesty International Report further captures the fear of one disturbed Black witness: "We heard them talking about the plan to take all the Whites and leave the Blacks". Twenty White people were reportedly rescued from the hotel. According to EWN, DAG founder Lionel Dyck described the allegations as "not at all accurate", adding that they would release a public statement on the matter.

Commenting on these findings, Amnesty International regional director Deprose Muchena reportedly called out the apparent racial valuation of lives. "Abandoning people during an armed assault simply because of the colour of their skin is racism, and violates the obligation to protect civilians". Muchena went on to condemn the hotel manager's action to "choose to rescue his dogs instead of people is also extremely shocking".

Jihadist insurgence in Mozambique has been on the rise, and garnered media attention in November 2020 when the group massacred 20 male initiates in Cabo Delgado. On March 24, the militant group attacked the gas-rich town of Palma causing thousands to flee and and a reported dozen deaths. An official death toll was unavailable at the time.

Coincidentally, conflicting reports came out at the end of March regarding the Mozambican government's decision to end its contract with DAG.