Testimonies of survivors of the Palma hotel attack by Al-Shabaab in March to Amnesty International have revealed that rescuers gave priority to white contractors over black locals during evacuation.
An estimated 220 civilians sought refuge in the Amarula Palma Hotel during the attack on 24 March. Around 200 were Black nationals while about 20 were white contractors.
Amnesty International noted that those who attempted to flee by ground convoy were ambushed by the armed group.
TOS News gathered 11 survivors out of the 220 who had been in the hotel, including five who survived the attack as they attempted to flee spoke to Amnesty.
Deprose Muchena, AI’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa said “the total lack of co-ordination between the Mozambique security forces and Dyck Advisory Group resulted in evacuations that were racist, and must be thoroughly investigated.”
“Abandoning people during an armed assault simply because of the colour of their skin is racism, and violates the obligation to protect civilians. This cannot go unanswered,” Muchena added.
Dyck Advisory Group, the private company involved in the rescue operation, said the allegations were “not at all accurate.”
The Mozambique Ministry of Defence also said race was not a factor in their response.