France opens probe of TotalEnergies over 2021 Mozambique attack

French prosecutors said Saturday they were investigating oil giant TotalEnergies for possible involuntary manslaughter in connection with a 2021 jihadist attack in Mozambique that killed hundreds.

The probe follows a legal complaint brought by victims’ families and attack survivors, accusing the French energy company, which was developing a major liquefied gas project in the region, of failing to protect its subcontractors, the prosecutors’ office told AFP.

The survivors and families say TotalEnergies also failed to provide fuel so that helicopters could evacuate civilians after Islamic State-linked militants killed dozens of people in the Mozambican port town of Palma on March 24, 2021.

The entire attack in Cabo Delgado province lasted several days, claiming several hundred lives. Some of the victims were beheaded and thousands fled their homes.

Contacted by AFP Saturday, a TotalEnergies spokesman reiterated a previous statement saying it “firmly rejects the accusations”.

He said the company’s Mozambique teams had supplied emergency aid and made the evacuation of 2,500 people from the plant possible, including civilians, staff, contractors and sub-contractors.

Families and survivors welcomed the French decision, with Nicholas Alexander, a South African attack survivor, calling it “a positive step”.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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