JUBA – The United Nations Interim Security Forces for Abyei (UNISFA) this evening condemned the ongoing escalation in criminal activities against civilians in the disputed region of Abyei, saying it was in touch with tribal leaders of rival communities of Ngok Dinka and Miseriya.
“The United Nations Interim Security Forces for Abyei (UNISFA) strongly condemns the surge in criminal incidents within the Abyei Administrative Area, as witnessed within the past two weeks,” the UNISFA said in a statement a copy of which has been seen by Sudans Post on Saturday evening.
“Taking a serious note of the criminal activities within the Abyei Box, UNISFA is in relentless engagements and interactions with the Government of Republic of Sudan and The Government of South Sudan. The Mission has also reached out to the Paramount Chiefs of Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya Community in the past, urging their cooperation and support in maintaining peace and security in the area of responsibility. UNISFA has been able to facilitate the Traditional leaders to convene the long-awaited Traditional Leaders Peace Dialogue, scheduled in Entebbe, Uganda,” the statement added.
“Despite the efforts of UNISFA to maintain peace and security in the region, acts of violence are being executed by miscreants and armed criminal elements. In an incident which occurred today, Saturday 14 May 2022 at around 11.15 AM, armed criminals fired commuting civilian(s) from a nearby bush surrounding Amiet Market.
“On hearing gunshots, UNISFA troops acted quickly, deploying Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), which was on Patrol Duty for road protection. The swift action by UNISFA troops forced the armed criminals to flee the scene of crime. Injured civilian was immediately evacuated to Ameth-Bek Referral Hospital in Abyei for medical care. Further, UNISFA launched multiple patrols and stepped-up Area Domination to restore normalcy and dispel fears amongst locals.
“UNISFA will continue to ensure freedom of movement of locals, mount regular Snap Check Points to deter the criminals and prohibits carriage or illegal arms. The increased number of apprehensions with weapons on the Main Supply Route (MSR) since March 2022 is testimony to the fact that MSR protection has been given due importance and is being carried out in a professional manner.
“Having stated the facts, it’s imperative to highlight that incident like these are more of criminal activities in nature rather than community or tribe specific acts. The primary onus of reducing criminality in the society lies with UNISFA and involves the cooperation with local administrative authorities as well as Heads and Community leaders. UNISFA wishes to assure the general public that it is committed to its core mandate of Protection of Civilians.”