According to an Amnesty International report, the last evacuations from the bay of Palma, invaded by Daesh at the end of March, were carried out in a racist manner. The airlift would have favored living beings with a clearer complexion.
In a report published on May 13, the rights group Amnesty International brings alarming testimonies from the coastal area of Cabo Delgado. During the terrorist offensive on the bay of Palma, some civilians took refuge in the Amarula hotel. The South African paramilitaries of Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) therefore deployed helicopters to rescue them. However, these helicopters chose to rescue the twenty or so white people present on the scene, and then the dogs, before abandoning the premises.
According to an interview with 11 survivors of the event, the hotel manager, a Dutchman, chose to take his two German shepherds on the last flight from the hotel. DAG, a private South African company owned by Lionel Dyck, has dismissed Amnesty's claims. First, the director of the DAG declared that among 24 people rescued, 18 were “black of different nationalities”. Then, a statement from the military company clarified that although only white people were evacuated, it was not the choice of rescuers. According to the statement, the DAG team charged the people chosen by the hotel manager.
ISIS attack on Palma, Mozambique. Amnesty International denounces: Twenty white contractors were prioritized to be airlifted to safety while the others (…) were abandoned to take their chances https://t.co/r71uDgzqoe
- francesco strazzari (@franxstrax) May 13, 2021
Dogs rather than humans
First, some 220 people, working on a nearby gas project had joined the hotel during the Daesh offensive against the city of Palma. Indeed, on March 24, the terrorist group Ansar al-Sunna, affiliated with the al-Shabaab group of the Islamic State, attacked the east of Cabo Delgado. The region is in the throes of a civil war between the government and the insurgents of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The capture of the Bay of Palma caused a humanitarian catastrophe. More than 200 people took refuge further south. But some, like the workers in gas fields further north, on the Tanzanian border, they found themselves surrounded.
The hotel, by the sea, issued an alert call to the authorities at the Gananga military base. The latter, not having the means to reach the places, prompted help South African paramilitaries. According to Amnesty, the DAG provided an airlift of five flights, taking care of exactly 24 people, and two dogs. Once all the whites were evacuated, the black nationals were left to fend for themselves. Some have joined the civil initiative which evacuated several people by boat. The others tried to flee by ground convoy, but were ambushed by al-Shabaab.
Amnesty's Regional Director for East Africa, Deprose Muchena, said: “The facts are alarming”. He said the bailout was racially segregated. He also accused: "choosing to save his dogs rather than people is extremely shocking," he said.
The security situation in Palma, #Mozambique, is still volatile and our colleagues on the ground informed that hundreds of people are right now trying to leave the area while thousands of others are making their way by foot, boat & road to safer places: https://t.co/O83VK7QTHs pic.twitter.com/5QhwoFYhYi
- Saviano Abreu (@savianoabreu) March 31, 2021
"We saved them from there"
One of the evacuees, Wesley, refuted Amnesty's claims. According to him, the departure of the whites would have facilitated the evacuation of the other refugees from the hotel. He reportedly said: “It was we white people who saved 200 people from there. ".
The other survivors, however, corroborated the version of events presented by Amnesty. A survivor, Imany, said: “We didn't want whites to be rescued as a priority. We knew that if they all left, we would be left there to die. This is exactly what had happened. She said.
Imany had been captured by Daesh fighters following the event, before fleeing two weeks later. Around the hotel, twelve decapitated bodies were found a few days after the evacuation organized by the DAG. An Amnesty official confessed: “This is another demonstration of the inhumane approach of the Mozambican army and the DAGs. They have caused immeasurable damage to Cabo Delgado. The government should no longer let them act independently. », He stated.
IS assault in #Mozambique survivor, Wesley Nel, explains how the horrific ordeal felt unreal. #Flames 7pm tonight with @DerekWatts. pic.twitter.com/2w08USUwYx
- Carte Blanche (@carteblanchetv) April 11, 2021