TotalEnergies has rejected accusations that it failed to assist people in danger during the terrorist attacks that took place in northern Mozambique in March 2021.
The company states the conflict in the Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique predates gas development in the region and is linked to many factors unrelated to Mozambique LNG.
On March 24, 2021, there was a terrorist attack in the Cabo Delgado province against the town of Palma, close to the Mozambique LNG project at the Afungi site. The Islamic terrorist group known as Al-Shabaab subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack. The terrorist attack against the civilian population lasted for several days.
TotalEnergies stated: “To the best of our knowledge, there exists no official count of the number of dead and missing civilians following the Palma attack, but this tragic terrorist attack claimed many lives and caused part of the civilian population to flee the area.”
TotalEnergies said Mozambique LNG implemented the measures required by the emergency and following security procedures, including a pre-established evacuation plan.
“Given the exceptional nature of the situation, Mozambique LNG evacuated a large number of civilians and provided emergency aid, medical care, and human and material resources to the civilians sheltering in the entrance to the site.
“As soon as the attacks had started and the situation had been assessed, Mozambique LNG lent its assistance to the Mozambican authorities, namely by supplying fuel for the evacuation and rescue operations.
“The runway at the Afungi site was used by the authorities of Mozambique and international organisations operating in the area to evacuate people by air.
“Mozambique LNG employees distributed food and water to civilians sheltering at the entrance to the Afungi site.”
The company said the Mozambique LNG medical teams were mobilised to provide emergency medical assistance to injured civilians who were evacuated by air and sea from the Afungi site. The site’s hospital was also made available.
“Mozambique LNG also evacuated more than 2,500 people, including many civilians by air and sea, especially by chartering a ferry for this purpose. The resources mobilised to deal with the situation were quite exceptional for a company.”
Given the deteriorated security situation in the region, Mozambique LNG decided to withdraw all personnel from the Mozambique LNG project at the Afungi site. The situation led Mozambique LNG to declare force majeure in April 2021.
Thanks to the efforts of the Mozambican government, with the support of the South African Development Community and Rwanda, the security situation has improved significantly in Cabo Delgado since 2021, and terrorist activities have decreased substantially.
“Mozambique LNG monitors the security situation on an ongoing basis with the assistance of internal and external experts.
“Several audits have been conducted and have confirmed the significant improvement in the security situation in the Cabo Delgado region.
“The decision to restart the project depends on the ability to complete the project under good security conditions. This position is shared by all of Mozambique LNG’s partners. Current activities on site are limited to strengthening security infrastructure and improving access roads.”