“South Sudan is not prepared to deal with terrorist infiltration”

The causes of the crash of a Russian aircraft after taking off from South Sudan’s capital Juba on Wednesday, November 4, are not known, in which 41 people have been killed. “Hypothetically we cannot exclude a terrorist attack”, local sources told Fides. “Always hypothetically, we can say that any terrorist infiltration in South Sudan cannot be excluded”.
“A recent episode aroused some apprehension in the Country” continue our sources. “In October in northern South Sudan, in the State of Northern Bar er Gazal about seventy people of Somali origin were arrested. They were suspected of wanting to cross the border with Sudan and then join the Caliphate”.
“South Sudan has so many problems due to the civil war which has formally ended, but in reality still continues, and with subsequent economic crisis. The Country is therefore not prepared to handle the threat of terrorism”. “The South Sudanese authorities have found themselves faced with a very controversial issue because there were women and children in the group. A first version of the fact stated that it was not just a group of Somalis, but they belonged to the Shabaab (Somali Islamist militias, ed.) who try to reach the Islamic State. This version has not been confirmed or denied, for the reason that, as stated before, South Sudan has so many serious problems that the authorities cannot think that terrorism can be added to those already present. Secondly South Sudan has no investigative methods and specialized staff to analyze any incidents related to terrorism”.
“This, however, is the first episode that made South Sudanese Ministry of the Interior’s aware on the possibility that there may be terrorist infiltration” underline our sources.
As for Sudan, Fides sources say that “in Sudan the government is drawing closer to the West, after breaking the close relations with Iran, and is trying to be removed from the list of States that sponsor terrorism. The government in Khartoum, at least in part, is waging a real fight against terrorist infiltration. On the other side of the Country, as in other Arab states, there are different fundamentalist tendencies that sympathize with the Caliphate. Local authorities have blocked some preachers who push young people to join the Islamic State, some of whom operate in a private university. There have been several incidents of young Sudanese who joined Islamic State, but the government in Khartoum, at least officially, has done everything to stop them”, concludes the source. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 04/11/2015)