Mozambique: French energy giant Total withdraws after militant attacks
French energy company Total has withdrawn all its staff from its Afungi natural gas site in northern Mozambique, sources say, as clashes between Islamic State-linked fighters and the military rage nearby.
The company, which last week called off the planned resumption of construction at the $20bn development due to the violence, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
The government says dozens of people have died since militants launched attacks in the coastal town of Palma last week, in a district near gas projects worth tens of billions of dollars that are meant to transform Mozambique’s economy. The two sources, who have direct knowledge of Total’s operations, said on Friday the company had decided to withdraw its staff as militants appeared to get closer to the site. They declined to go into further details.
Insurgents took over some Mozambican military positions near the Afungi site south of Palma on Friday and the situation was still highly volatile, a separate security source told Reuters.
The World Food Programme (WFP) said it was temporarily suspending evacuation flights from Palma for people affected by the violence, citing a deterioration in the security situation. Flights transporting humanitarian workers and food would continue, a spokesperson added.
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