Abyei, 13 April 2022 –The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) observes with great concern the fake news credited to Twic Media Reports, a South Sudanese on-line media NGO alleging that UNISFA forces attacked the Rayen village on 16 May 2022. The said fake news quotes residents of Rayen community as insinuating that UNISFA forces launched attacks on them using heavy machine guns and burned down houses leading to displacement of civilians. In as much as UNISFA, as a mission, would not like to join issues with any individual or groups to maintain fucus on its mandated task of keeping Abyei Area free of arms, the mission considers it necessary to debunk such fake news because of its potential to mislead the local population and add another layer of insecurity to that being experienced in the area.
The public is hereby reminded that UNISFA, as a mission operates strictly under the three basic principles that continue to set UN peacekeeping operations apart as a tool for maintaining international peace and security and meticulously upholds its core values of integrity, professionalism, impartiality, and respect for diversity and gender equality, and is in Abyei with a specific mandate to protect people and keep the area free of arms.
UNISFA thus uses this opportunity to call on the public to ignore fake news meant to disinform and misinform the society with the intend to escalate tension and cause disaffection. UNISFA urges all stakeholders to cooperate with Mission by reporting timely to the nearest UNISFA Team sites, Temporary or Company Operating Base on movements of suspicious armed persons or groups of armed persons within the Box. UNISFA urges all persons to embrace the mission’s peace initiative as a means of deescalating tension in the area assuring that UNISFA is fully committed to working closely with the Governments of South Sudan and Sudan in pursuing its mandate to ensure that Abyei Box is free of arms and armed groups.