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04 Feb 2008 18:30
Five South Africans will be evacuated from Chad on Monday night, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
The French Military will fly the South Africans to Libreville in Gabon where they will be met by the South African ambassador to that country, Jomo Khasu.
Meanwhile, four other South Africans have arrived at the French school in the Chadian capital, Ndjamena, awaiting transportation to the French military base for evacuation.
Three other South Africans were safe in their homes in Ndjamena but remained in contact with the South African chargé d’affaires to Chad, Gert Du Preez, and their employer, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.
The fate of the other South Africans trapped in the country—due to fighting between rebel and government forces—was still unclear.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs has received a number of calls from the public regarding the welfare of their loved ones and employees in Chad,” Mamoepa said.
“In this regard, the Department of Foreign Affairs’s consular services will continue with its endeavours to locate other South Africans that are known to be in Chad with a view to offering consular assistance,” he said.
Government forces and rebels clashed for a third day in Chad’s capital on Monday, with gunfire and shelling heard throughout the city, a United Nations official told the Associated Press.
Thousands of people were fleeing.
Casualties from the fighting in Ndjamena were believed to be high.—Sapa
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