Juba — The European Union Council has allocated €12.5m to strengthen security in South Sudan's aviation industry, especially within Juba international airport.
As part of the process, up to 64 personnel will from September be deployed in Juba, the South Sudan capital over a 19-month period under the European Union Aviation Security (EUAVSEC), which falls within the docket of EU's Common Security Defence Policy (CSDP).
In particular, EUAVSEC South Sudan will reportedly train and mentor security services, provide advice and assistance on aviation security, as well as support the coordination of security activities, but without any executive-related duty.
The EU council, Sudan Tribune has learned, has already directed the CSDP mission to strengthen the aviation security at Juba airport following a request reportedly made by South Sudan government.
The move to uplift South Sudan's aviation sector, the EU said in a statement, is part of the organization's "comprehensive" approach and strategy to assist the world's newest nation become a viable, stable and prosperous state.
"The EU is committed to supporting peace, security and development in South Sudan. EUAVSEC South Sudan will work to raise the security at Juba airport to internationally accepted standards. This is important for the economic development of South Sudan and for the efforts to prevent the airport from becoming a target for terrorism," said Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative.
According to the EU, improving airport security in landlocked South Sudan will enable the increased flow of people and goods, as well as boost trade.
The EU's move, analysts say, is perhaps in response to recent incidences in the aviation industry, widely attributed to security lapse and negligence by concerned airport authorities manning the sector.
Two weeks ago, a helicopter carrying Prof. George Saitoti, Kenyan internal security minister and his deputy, Joshua Orwa Ojodeh crashed on the outskirts of Nairobi, the country's capital. Four others people also died in the crash.
Also, early this month, the Indian-owned Dana crashed into commercial and residential buildings in Lagos, Nigeria reportedly killing all the 153 people on board, and an unknown number on the ground.