Central Equatoria State, News

Yei to combat misinformation

By James Innocent


Community Development Center (CDC) has launched a project in Yei River County, Central Equatoria State, aimed at addressing the issue of rumors and misinformation.

Since the onset of the conflict in 2013 and 2016 there has been widespread misinformation, which has hindered access to certain areas and discouraged refugees from returning home.

Andrew Lasu Samuel, the coordinator for CDC, said the project dubbed Hagiga Wahit aims to mitigate such rumors and misinformation across communities.

The project has already been implemented in various states, and Yei is the latest location to benefit from its efforts.

Lasu emphasized the detrimental impact of rumors and misinformation, emphasizing the need to counter them effectively.

He underscored the importance of stakeholder involvement, including civil society organizations, media houses, police, chiefs, youth representatives, women associations, people living with disabilities, and government representatives, to achieve the project’s goals.

The Hagiga Wahid project, inspired by the successful Una Hakika project in Kenya, focuses on countering the spread of harmful rumors to promote peace and alleviate tensions and conflicts.

It utilizes innovative mobile-based technology and engages community ambassadors to provide fast, accurate, and timely information.

The project addresses various issues, including gender-based violence, early warnings, and situational awareness.

With South Sudan preparing for its first-ever elections in December 2024, the prevalence of misinformation poses a significant challenge.

The spread of false information can hinder constructive dialogue, impede the establishment of an inclusive society, and undermine the development of civic and political spaces.

The project aims to address these concerns and highlights the need for a local-level early warning system to prevent and mitigate violence.

During the project launch, Antony Diko, representing the elders in Yei River County, expressed appreciation for the initiative.

He emphasized the importance of accurate information for maintaining peace and avoiding conflicts, particularly as the region receives returning refugees from Uganda and Congo.

“I applaud the initiative with the new project to get right information because the word of the truth comes from God and if there is no truth meaning the nation will fall into conflicts especially our five Payams of Yei River County meaning that if there is no truth in the county up to the Boma level there is no peace, currently we are receiving returnees from Uganda and Congo that’s why there is need for true information to avoid fear and harm,” he applauded.

Taban Isaac, the county supervisor of Yei, acknowledged the project’s significance in mitigating rumors and conflicts.

Given the insecurity challenges faced by Yei since the 2016 conflict, certain areas remain hotspots where citizens fear to venture.

He said the project will enable people to access accurate information and empower young individuals in conflict reporting within the community.

The Launch was attended by over 40 participants. It is funded by Global Affairs Canada and CDC, in partnership with the Sentinel Project.

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