African leaders have expressed their condolences and solidarity with Turkey and Syria following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck areas of both countries on Monday. Presidents from Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Burundi, and Gambia were among them. Also the AU chairperson Moussa Faki-Mahamat in a tweet thanked the “global outpouring of support and solidarity”.
Their sympathies came after dozens of nations and organizations pledged to assist with rescue efforts in southern Turkey and northern Syria following Monday’s earthquakes, which killed over 5000 people.
According to its national daily Echorouk El- Yawmi, Algeria deployed an 89-member civil protection team to Turkey and an 85-member one to Syria to assist with the rescue attempts, along with 210 tonnes of humanitarian aid for both countries. Tunisian President Kais Saied, for his part, has ordered “humanitarian aid” for both Turkey and Syria, which includes 14 tonnes of blankets and food. According to officials, Saied also requested that volunteer medics be flown out on Tunisian military planes.
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.