UNISFA MISSION IN ABYEI
How UN Troops Restores Security Situation with Engagements, Prevented Inter Communal Clashes; Ensured Clearance/Burnt 12 Illegal Checkpoints, Arrested/Prevented Misceants from Attacking Communities, Arrested Armed Youth with loaded Pistol
The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), in the last one week spanning March 21 to March 28, 2022 has conducted series of operations to restore the security situation in South Sudan including several engagements with warring communities to prevent inter communal attacks, clearance of 12 illegal checkpoints mounted by armed persons and armed (counter) responses to Indiscriminate shooting by unknown armed criminals in some communities,
Also, following the reported armed attack on a village (Majbong), troops of UNISFA discovered the suspected murder of two men near Agok in Southern Sector by unknown men armed with rifles who attacked the village and fled.
Furthermore, following the rotation of the Ethiopian contingent Interim Security Force and arrivals of contingents from Pakistan,Bangladesh and other UN participating countries, a UNISFA Transition Task Force (UTTF) has been created to ensure seamless transition of contingents.
In all of the several communal engagements, operations, disaster intervention, medical evacutions among others, the Force Commander of UNISFA, Major General Banjamin Olufemi Sawyerr has been the driving force to ensure the UN mandate of the mission is achieved.
The situation report of the UN mission for Abyei shows that within the week in review, “The security situation in Area of Operation was relatively calm despite the recent clashes between the tribes owing to UNISFA’s enduring engagement with the communities to prevent
intercommunal attacks. This reporting period witnessed second armed attack at Dokura in Sector Centre indicating that the situation remains unpredictable.
“The visit of the Third Vice President of South Sudan with the investigating committee on the recent Ngok-Twic
Dinka clashes is expected to engender peace between the two tribes. Further, the acceptance of Misseriya local community leaders for freedom of movement on the Main Supply Route is expected to improve the overall security situation.
“UNISFA continues to intensify area domination operations to de-escalate the tensions and obviate future armed attacks or criminal incidents. The Mission Leadership relentlessly engage with Government Officials, local authorities and community leaders to ensure peace and stability as well as instill sense of security amongst the locals.
Regarding Force Transition, “UNISFA is undergoing rotation of its contingents wherein Multi-National troops are replacing the outgoing Ethiopian Contingent. In order to monitor this transition period, obviate any voids in overall security of Abyei Box and streamline the logistic requirements, UNISFA Transition Task Force (UTTF) has been constituted at Force HQs comprising of all the stakeholders.
“Acting Head of Mission/Force Commander interacted with the UTTF in presence of the Sector Commanders to address issues of concern and ensure seamless transition of contingents.
On Activities that improved on the Security Situation in Abyei Area, the UN mission said its troop’s responded to a shooting incident noting, “Indiscriminate shooting by unknown armed criminals was reported by own troops at Dokura, Sector Centre. UNISFA responded by dispatching the Quick Response Force from Todach COB quickly to control the situation.
“The QRF was engaged by fire and the armed criminals were able to escape from the incident site. One civilian belonging to Dinka Tribe about 65 years of age sustained fatal causality. There was no injury to own troops and no arrest was made. Search operations continued along with the area domination patrols. Calm has returned to the area.
“UNISFA troops established snap checkpoints between Amiet Market and Diffra along the Main Supply Route. The intention was to promulgate sense of security amongst the locals and at the
same time act as deterrence to criminals carrying illegal weapon/ ammunition.
“One person of about 22 years, belonging to Misseriya tribe, who was found in possession of an illegal pistol with seven rounds of ammunition, was apprehended. The arrested man has been handed over to the CPC and the seized weapon with the ammunition was taken into custody for subsequent disposal.
“This surprise check instilled confidence amongst the community members and strengthened their faith towards UNISFA’s commitment for mandate implementation.
On the mounting of illegal check points, the mission said, “HQ Sector North, began Operation IRON FIST, to remove illegal checkpoints along Todach– Diffra Main Supply Route. A total of Twelve illegal checkpoints were removed.
“The abolished Check Posts were burnt subsequently by members of Peace Committee. Three persons, each armed with dagger, were apprehended and handed over to the Local Administration in Diffra
Continuing the mission said, “UNISFA troops were informed by locals that a person named Mr Sulemana was in possession of an illegal rifle which was locally manufactured. The complain further highlighted that the individual was spreading unrest by threatening the locals.
“UNISFA troops acted immediately
and sought the individual who was found in possession of illegal weapon. He along with his seized illegal rifle was apprehended and handed over to Abathok Police for further investigation
The Murder Incident at Majbong Village, Sector South, “UNISFA troops reported a suspected murder incident of two men at Majbong village near Agok in Southern Sector. The deceased were allegedly killed during an armed attack on the village. It was reported that unknown men armed with rifles attacked the village and fled, causing two causalities.
“UNISFA troops undertook Search operation and Area Sanitization, however, no suspects were arrested. The armed criminals were following hit and run tactics to spread unrest amongst the local population. UNISFA responded with intensifying the area domination operations and increasing the number of ground patrols to dispel sense of insecurity amongst the local population.
“The situation has been contained and normalcy has returned, however, situation is being closely monitored.
Furthermore, troops responded to Armed SSPDF (South Sudan Peoples Democratic Front) Troops sighted in Agok, South Sector.
“About 20 SSPDF soldiers were sighted by UNISFA troops carrying two dead bodies around Agok. UNISFA troops engaged constructively to probe into details of the incident.
“It was later confirmed by an Agok Local Administration official that the deceased were not residents of Agok. Lately, a senior SSPDF official arrived and directed to return the bodies to Mijak-Kol, outside of Abyei-box, where the deceased were believed to have resided.
Also, “UNISFA troops retrieved one abandoned PG7 rocket near the Company Operating Base (COB) in Marial Achak, Sector South. It has been secured for subsequent displosal action by UNMAS”.
Towards consolidating on the peace building and security stabilization in Abyei in general, a total of 225 Ground Monitoring Patrols and 29 Escorts covering Distance of 5755 kms were carried out by UNISFA during this reporting period
“UNISFA troops carried out patrolling in entire Area of responsibility (AOR) to include Northern, Central and Southern Sectors with an aim to ensure safety of civilians, facilitate dialogue between
communities, ensure sanctity of DMZs in Abyei Box and achieve fulfillment of mission mandate, ensuring peace and stability within the AOR.
Activities that improved on the security situation in AOR during period of reporting were:- •Conduct of day and night patrols around Abyei town, UNISFA headquarters, Northern, Central and Southern Sectors ensuring peace and allowing residents to carry out their daily activities freely.
•Vigilant Area Domination Patrolling was carried out around Agok, Marial Achak, Tajale, Dungap, Dokura, Rumajek, Todach, Rumamer, Anthony, Liu, Amiet market, Noong, Kolom and Koladet by well-equipped troops both by day and night among other places resulting in peace and security.
•This reporting period witnessed second armed attack in the Central Sector of the Abyei Area and sporadic criminal incidents in Southern Sector. The situation is being diffused and monitored by UNISFA by increasing footprints on ground, ensuring law and order is maintained.
•Owing to the unpredictable security situation in Abyei box, ground patrols were intensified to prevent acts of violence and instill confidence in locals.