ADDS STATEMENT FROM NIGERIA
By Hassan Isilow and Mohammed Dhaysane
JOHANNESBURG (AA) - Leaders of African countries and continental bodies on Monday expressed their condolences and showed solidarity with Ankara after a strong earthquake hit southern Türkiye and Syria.
Some of those who expressed condolences included the presidents of Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Burundi, and Gambia, among others.
Continental bodies included the African Union, the East African Community and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
"Africa stands in unwavering solidarity and sorrow with the government and people of #Turkiye and #Syria following the devastating earthquake that led to the deaths of more than a thousand innocent people and wreaking terrible infrastructural damage," Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, wrote in a brief statement on Twitter.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari pledged to support the two friendly countries in the wake of the earthquakes that left at least 1,651 people dead and 11,119 injured in Türkiye. In Syria, at least 968 were killed and 2,403 others wounded, according to the state-run SANA news agency.
Buhari "wishes those injured a speedy recovery and assures that the prayers and thoughts of Nigerians are with the many affected by this severe disaster and its aftershocks," presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement.
Adesina added that the president had assured that Nigeria was ready to offer "full support in any way possible" to both quake-hit nations.
Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, extended his heartfelt condolences to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Bashar al-Assad, following the earthquake.
"Peace to the souls of the victims and speedy recovery to the injured," he wrote on Twitter.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud also offered his deepest condolences to the Turkish people and the president.
"On behalf of the Somali People and Government, I offer my deepest condolences to the Turkish people,and President @RTErdogan, due to the earthquake that occurred in Kahramanmaraş and felt in many cities, and wish a speedy recovery to the injured," he wrote.
Gambian President Adama Barrow also condoled with Türkiye and Syria sending well wishes and prayers for the victims and their families.
Burundi's President Evariste Ndayishimiye also expressed sadness for the numerous deaths, devastation and destruction caused by the earthquakes in Türkiye.
"This is one of the most powerful quakes to have hit the region, leading to the tragic loss of life and destruction of property. I assure the brotherly peoples of Turkey and Syria of my great compassion and of the good will of the people of Kenya in this time of profound grief," Foreign Minister Alfred Matua said.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) a regional block in the Horn of Africa said it is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives and destruction as a result of the earthquake.
The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry also expressed condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wished a speedy recovery to those injured "in the tragic calamities."
The East African Community, a block of six countries, also offered condolences to the governments and people of Türkiye and Syria.
*James Tasamba in Kigali, Rwanda; Aurore Bonny in Douala, Cameroon; and Olanrewaju Kola in Lagos, Nigeria contributed to this report.