Morocco/attack in Marrakesh – Update on the situation
Paris, April 29, 2011
I would firstly like to remind you that President Sarkozy and Alain Juppé issued statements expressing France’s shock following the announcement of this dreadful, unspeakable, heinous act, condemning this cruel, cowardly terrorist attack that claimed many lives, and guaranteeing France’s mobilization alongside our compatriots who were victims of this crime.
President Sarkozy spoke yesterday to the King of Morocco and indicated to him our readiness and determination to work closely with the Moroccan authorities. Once the conclusions of the inquiry conducted by the Moroccan authorities have been established, one or other of the numerous theories currently circulating will be confirmed, but for the moment this is impossible. The Moroccan authorities have mobilized their efforts to assist the victims, in liaison with our consulate. Now is the time to demonstrate responsibility. Let’s wait until the inquiry under way has been completed.
And let’s wait before we give any figures or announce a death toll. We can’t give an exact figure yet regarding the number of French people killed.
As soon as the attack was announced, our embassy in Rabat implemented measures to provide assistance to our nationals and their families. A crisis centre was set up at the embassy in Rabat as well as in our Consulate General in Marrakesh which can be reached 24 hours a day.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ crisis centre is in contact with our compatriots’ families.
Our ambassador to Morocco immediately travelled to the area with several colleagues in order to liaise with the Moroccan authorities, particularly with respect to the identification of victims for whom we are still at the verification stage.
The team from the Consulate General in Marrakesh has been strengthened to provide assistance to French nationals and their families.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ crisis centre has sent three officials to provide support, as well as two psychologists.
Regarding the repatriation of our injured citizens, a medical assessment must be carried out before any decisions can be made, and the injured will be directed to the appropriate hospitals, in agreement with the Moroccan authorities.
In addition, a team of police officers is arriving from France today.
We have over 41,000 nationals registered in Morocco, almost half of whom hold dual nationality. Over 6,000 French citizens are registered in Marrakesh, a third of whom hold dual nationality.
According to our information, at this stage 16 people are reported to have died and 21 have been injured. The identification process continues./.