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NGO apologizes for false security alert

Author: Alhadi Awari | Published: Thursday, December 12, 2019

Ruth Okowa, the director of BRAC South Sudan speaks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 11 Dec, 2019. Credit/Alhadi Awari/Eye Radio.

An international NGO has apologized for circulating false information about the security situation in South Sudan.

The security alert issued in November advised NGO staff to stock enough food and water in anticipation of a political crisis.

The letter titled: “UN issues Security Alert in South Sudan” was circulated before the government and position groups agreed to postpone formation of the unity government by November 12.

The online letter reportedly shared by a staff of BRAC South Sudan, identified eight locations in Juba where UN Protection force might be stationed in case of a crisis.

In response, UNMISS issued a statement last month denying circulating the document.

The alleged security alert angered South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The government said the alert was based on “politically motivated purposes and unsubstantiated facts.”

In a joint press conference at the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation on Wednesday, BRAC apologized for its action, saying it was “unprofessional.”

“BRAC would like to issue a sincere apology to the people of the Republic of South Sudan for the unprofessional conduct of some of our staff in the way they handled security sensitive information,” Ruth Okowa, the director of BRAC South Sudan said.

“The communication was only meant for internal audience, however, the security sensitive information was incorrect and also ended up being uploaded on social media by one of the field staff, it was a personal communication without the blessing of the organization.”

According to Deng Dau Deng, the deputy foreign minister, the NGO’s action created fear and panic throughout the country.

“The alert created havoc throughout the country, it prevented many people from carrying on their normal activities and a great number of people were running to seek safety where necessary while others were unable to go to church services, schools, hospitals, work and market places,” Deng said.

The Ministry warned the UN and other NGOs against issuing security alerts which it said are only meant to create panic and havoc among South Sudanese.




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