No word on South Africans stranded in Mali

2012-03-26 11:30

There is no way to find out how many South Africans are stuck in Mali after a military coup d’etat, the department of international relations has said.

“The airport is closed as well as the embassy. Since all of the [embassy] officials are stuck indoors because of what is happening, there is no way to tell how many people are there at the moment,” said spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

There would be more clarity on the number of stranded citizens once communication channels into the country were opened.

French news agency Agence France-Presse reported yesterday that the Kenyan and Zimbabwean foreign ministers had been evacuated from the west African country.

The ministers and other government officials were flown to Lagos, Nigeria, on a chartered flight on Saturday after the coup leader said he would guarantee their safe return.

They were attending an African Union (AU) peace and security meeting in Bamako when Malian soldiers mutinied last week.

The soldiers staged the coup d’etat amid anger over what they say is a lack of equipment to stamp out a Tuareg rebellion.

The 54-member AU condemned the coup and suspended Mali until it restores constitutional order.

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