AFRICA/SOMALIA - Mgr. Bertin: ISIS has arrived in Somalia; "The interests of various international partners increase the Somali instability"

Friday, 9 February 2018 terrorism  

Mogadishu (Agenzia Fides) - ISIS has arrived in Somalia. Reports of Western secret services speak of the presence of Islamic State cells. They are made up of former al Shabaab militants (Somali jihadist organization linked to al-Qaeda) and by foreign militiamen from the Middle East after ISIS's defeat in Syria and Iraq.
"Yes, ISIS is present in Somalia - confirms Mgr. Giorgio Bertin, Bishop of Djibouti and Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu -. Even the local press has talked about it. Cells seem to be based primarily in Puntland, the semi-autonomous region located in the north-west part of the Country".
The presence of al Baghdadi's militiamen is a cause for concern because in a video made public in December, the militiamen invited to "hunt down" the non-believers and attack churches and markets. In December, the US launched the first drone raid on ISIS affiliates causing numerous victims.
All this in a context of general instability, characterized by continuous attacks, especially in Mogadishu, the capital. "The attacks are numerous - says Mgr. Bertin -. For the local population the situation is less dramatic. It is especially for foreigners who see their meeting places hit and for this reason they need protection".
On 16 February 2017, almost a year ago, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed was elected president of Somalia, known as Farmajo. His election raised many expectations among the population, a person able to bring Somalia out of the political and military crisis. In fact, in recent months his government has worked hard to create a minimum of security, a basic condition for recovery. Although among many difficulties. "President Formajo - concludes Mgr. Bertin - is trying to do his best. Sometimes, however, I have the impression that state institutions exist only thanks to external support. However, international support is relative because international partners have their agendas that do not always coincide with the Somali ones. More than international support, the president should make more efforts to disengage from the internal and external mechanisms that bind him, to look for the only thing that really matters: the support of the population". (E.C.) (Agenzia Fides, 9/2/2018)