President Hage Geingob on Saturday joined other world leaders in sending a message of condolence to his French counterpart, Francois Hollande, after three coordinated terror attacks in Paris on Friday killed 129 people.
The coordinated gun and bomb attacks, which also wounded 352 people, including 99 critically, took place at a sold-out concert hall, restaurants, bars and outside France’s national stadium, Stade de France.
Geingob said: “These attacks and their evil intent to divide and conquer nations through fear and violence, have served only to unite us. They have strengthened our resolve to ensure that the ideals of Liberte, Fraternite et Egalite ring true, as we persevere in our common fight against hate and intolerance.”
South African President Jacob Zuma also sent a condolence message, according to News24. “The South African president has already made contact to send a message of condolence to President Hollande, the government, and the people of France following this incident. We have them in our thoughts and prayers and are standing with them,” said Department of International Relations and CoOperation (Dirco) spokesperson Clayson Monyela.
“South Africa condemns this terrorist attack in the strongest terms possible and we will cooperate. [The] international community needs to rally around countries that are vulnerable to this and fight terrorism at all costs. We absolutely condemn it in the strongest terms possible,” stated Monyela.
At the same time, the government is working to confirm the safety of SA citizens in France. ‘’We have been in touch with our embassy ever since this incident took place. One, we wanted to ascertain the safety of our own staff there at the embassy that we know for sure are in France… They are all accounted for.
‘’France is hosting COP21, so we do have a few officials already there, doing some of the work and some of the negotiators, but all of those are accounted for. So that is a relief.’’
Dirco also has an emergency operations centre, which can be reached on (+27) 012-351-1000 as a contact point for concerned families and friends in South Africa.
There have been no reports of South Africans injured or killed in the early hours of the attacks, which also led to all France’s borders being closed.
US President Barack Obama initially led a chorus of global condemnation of the attacks that killed more than 100 people in Paris on Friday, as nations pledged solidarity with France and vowed to help hunt down the perpetrators.
“It’s an attack, not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share,” Obama said. “We’re going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people.”
The shootings, explosions and hostage-taking at a popular concert venue in the French capital reverberated around the world, especially in countries such as the United States, Britain and Spain, previous scenes of devastating acts of terror.
In London, where 52 people were killed and hundreds wounded in a series of coordinated suicide bombings on the city’s public transport system in 2005, British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We will do whatever we can to help.”