Rescue attempts in the terror attack on the town of Palma in northern Mozambique gave “preferential treatment” to white contractors, according to rights group Amnesty International.
The South African private military company Dyck Advisory Group prioritized rescuing about 20 white contractors over around 200 Black locals from the Amarula Hotel, Amnesty International alleged in a report on May 13 that interviewed 11 Black survivors.
“We were about 220 people trapped there in the hotel – we [local Black people] were the majority, and the whites were supposed to be about 20. After the rescue and escape, we were about 170 people still alive. Most of the whites were rescued by helicopters, before we left the hotel by car,” one survivor told Amnesty International.
“We didn’t want all white people to be rescued, because we knew that if all the whites left, we would be left there to die. We heard them talking about the plan to take all the whites and leave the Blacks,” another survivor told the rights group.
Witnesses also told Amnesty International that the hotel manager took his two German Shepherd dogs on the rescue helicopter, leaving people behind.
“Some women didn’t get in the helicopter because of the dogs,” one survivor said in the report.
Amnesty International described the testimony of the survivors as “disturbing” and that it “points to blatant racism.”
“These are alarming allegations that the rescue plan was racially segregated,” Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa Deprose Muchena said.
“The total lack of coordination between the Mozambique security forces and Dyck Advisory Group resulted in evacuations that were racist, and must be thoroughly investigated,” Muchena further said.
Armed group Al-Shabaab carried out the attack that started last March 24.
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