Maputo — Mozambique's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eduardo Koloma, on Thursday announced that the government will assist a group of Mozambican students stranded in Sudan after losing their scholarships, reports Friday's issue of the daily newspaper "O Pais".
In May, a group of 45 Mozambican students at the International University of Africa (Sudan) denounced their poor living conditions. They also claimed that they had lost their scholarships and would be repatriated because the Education Ministry was refusing to provide assistance.
At the time, the Education Ministry's Scholarship Institute (IBE) distanced itself from the problem, arguing that it was not responsible for the students because they went there to pursue religious studies with scholarships granted by Islamic organisations.
According to a statement from the IBE, "the students in Sudan are not part of the contingent of Mozambicans scholarship holders under the responsibility of the government".
Interviewed by the "Lusa" news agency, Koloma asserted that "the government intends to send a fact finding mission to learn about the problems on the ground".
"We are in coordination with the Education Ministry, which told us that a delegation will be dispatched to Sudan", said Koloma.
Mozambique has no embassy in the Sudanese capital. Therefore, the authorities intend to contact the Sudanese government via "the Mozambican embassy nearest to Khartoum, which could be either Egypt or Algeria", he added.
According Koloma, the government has the responsibility to grant protection to any Mozambican national outside the country, and this is the task of the Foreign Ministry.