The fragility of the security situation in Sudan was revealed in a deadly shootout in Gabra earlier this week. Authorities arrested 11 suspected terrorists after fighting that killed five members of Sudan’s General Intelligence Service.
Analysts blame the violence on the presence of foreign rebels in the country and on the transition from a civilian government to the military, which has ruled Sudan since 2019, when President Omar al-Bashir was ousted by the military after months of demonstrations.
Khalifa Sidiq, a professor at the African International University in Khartoum who is also an expert on Islamic groups, told FLY that Sudan’s proximity to other troubled countries contributes to the problem.
“The Gabra incident,” said Sidiq, “is not out of context. During this transition period, Sudan experienced a security crisis with loose borders over the restive territories in the region. ” For example, Sidiq refers to Libya and Somalia, where the al-Shabab jihadist group operates.
“Sudan’s borders with Chad and the Central African Republic are also porous,” he said.
Sudan’s history of terrorism can be traced back to the 1970s, and reinforced during the 1990s, when Sudan hid al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and was found to have assisted al-Qaeda in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The US recently removed Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terror after al-Bashir was overthrown and Sudan paid $335 million in damages to victims of several terror attacks. (my/rs)