ISIS Beheads South Sudanese Man in Libya
ISIS has released a video that claims to show the beheading of a South Sudanese Man in revenge for the persecution of Muslims in the East African nation.
The victim was forced to identify himself as Kuol Deng from South Sudan, before an armed ISIS soldier is shown to behead him. The video is yet to have been confirmed as authentic.
Persecution in South Sudan
The ISIS fighter blames the persecution of Muslims in South Sudan for the beheading of one of its citizens. Christian ‘aggressors’ in the country are accused of uprooting and slaughtering Muslims – a crime which will be avenged, according to the video.
“This is a message to our Muslim brothers in South Sudan who are suffering injustice, uprooting and slaughter at the hands of the Christian aggressors,” the soldier can be heard saying. “We are conveying good news to you that Allah has deployed the soldiers of the caliphate to avenge for you and defend you”.
It’s not clear what persecution the video is referring to, as relations between Christians and Muslims in South Sudan have been mostly cooperative, despite widespread conflict in the area.
Muslim life in South Sudan
It’s believed that roughly 20% of South Sudan’s population are of the Muslim faith, with the country’s constitution calling itself a secular state. The latest International Religious Freedom Report from the US cited no events of systematic discrimination against Muslims in South Sudan.
The report does include a couple of incidents where mosques built on government land were demolished. However, the South Sudan Islamic Council is working with Islamic groups to compensate for the loss of the mosques, which were built on land that didn’t belong to them in the first place.
Regardless of the cooperation between South Sudan’s state, Christians and Muslims in the country, the message in this latest ISIS video is clear: South Sudan is labelled an oppressor and the extremist group vows to take action.
“O’ Christians in South Sudan know that as you kill you will be killed and as you displace our brothers we will do the same. No safety or shelter for you except that of the Islamic state. We will fight all of you as you fight us”.