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African leaders send condolences to Turkey, Syria over devastating earthquake

Tunisian emergency responders load aid to Syria and Turkey into military planes at L'Aouina   -  
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FETHI BELAID/AFP or licensors


African leaders are expressing condolences and solidarity with Türkiye and Syria after a 7.8 magnitude  earthquake hit parts of the two countries Monday. They included the presidents of Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Burundi and Gambia. Also the AU chairperson Moussa Faki-Mahamat in a tweet welcomed the "global outpouring of support and solidarity".

Their condolences come as dozens of nations and organizations offered to help with rescue efforts in southern Turkey and northern Syria after Monday's earthquakes that have already killed over 5000 people.

 As part of aid from Africa, Algeria sent an 89-member civil protection team to Turkey and a 85-member one to Syria to help in the rescue efforts, along with 210 tonnes of humanitarian aid for both countries according to its national daily Echorouk El- Yawmi. President Kais Saied of Tunisia on his part, ordered “humanitarian aid” for both Turkey and Syria, including 14 tonnes of blankets and food. Saied also appealed for volunteer medics to be flown out on Tunisian military aircraft, officials said.

The EU has also mobilized rapidly. It says more than 30 search and rescue or medical teams are on their way to Turkey (Must have arrived). This would mean more than 1,200 rescue workers heading to the affected areas and 70 detection dogs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also said he was sending rescue workers to both countries after talks with his counterparts Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Bashar al-Assad.

The United States, meanwhile, said it was "committed" to helping people "on both sides" of the Turkish-Syrian border, but Washington ruled out dealing directly with the Syrian government. 

Some 15 other countries, including Ukraine, have also pledged aid, as the search for survivors in the rubble continues. “Our teams are on the ground assessing the needs and providing assistance. We count on the international community to help the thousands of families hit by this disaster, many of whom were already in dire need of humanitarian aid in areas where access is a challenge,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

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