BRAC apologizes for false security alert

By:  Kitab A Unango

BRAC International, a Bangladesh humanitarian organization operating in South Sudan has apologized for issuing false security alert which the government said had resulted to fear and disrupted citizens’ normal activities in the country.

On Friday November 1st 2019, BRAC speculated security alert, alleged to have been issued by UN, which went on social media advising staff members to be vigilant and carry IDs along and to store enough food that could sustain them for sometimes.

The information government said was very much misleading and caused havoc and panic among the citizens as well as disrupting peoples’ normal businesses.

“The Transitional Government of National Unity of the republic of South Sudan  is concerned about the action of BRAC South Sudan, which led to its issuance of the misleading information, UN Issued Security Alert on 1st November, 2019,” Deng Dau Deng, Deputy Foreign Minister said.

“This alert has created havoc throughout the country. It prevented many people from carrying out their normal activities; a greater number of people were running to seek safety where necessary,”  

“While others were unable to go to the church, schools, hospital, work, and market,” he told the press yesterday in Juba.

Dau said the move by the organisation contravenes article 75 of panel code, 2008 which prohibited publication or communication of false statements prejudice to South Sudan as well as breakage of NGO act.

He warned all NGOs operating in the country to desist from such act adding that it was not a mandate of any organisation to issue security alert in South Sudan.

In respond when summoned by the government yesterday, Ruth Okowa, BRAC Director for Africa Region apologized for what she said was “unprofessional conduct” by some unauthorized staff members promising such would not occur again in her organisation.

“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 said.

“We deeply regret the event that followed the unintended circulation of the communication. We always abide by the laws of the Republic of South Sudan and any other instruments including policies, procedures that govern the operation of international NGOs,”

“We have taken sufficient corrective measures so that such incident does not repeat in the future,” Ruth promised.

She said actions have been taken against individuals, who were not authorized to speak on behalf of the organisation, for circulating false information to the public.

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