UNISFA launches road traffic safety awareness campaign
In response to the increasing road traffic accidents in Abyei area which have resulted to injuries and deaths, the Road Traffic Safety campaign was launched on 18 February 2018 at Amiet common market by the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) through its UN Police (UNPOL) component with support from the Ethiopian troops.
The campaign targeted all road users including pedestrians, cyclists and pushcart drivers. The main objectives of the campaign were to raise awareness on the causes and effects of road accidents and sharing of strategies that can be employed to minimize accidents.
In his address to the people who gathered at the Joint Peace Committee offices at Amiet market, Commander Tesfaye G Ayele who stood in for the Senior Police Advisor stated that safety on the road was a key driver of peace and development. “Without a smooth flow of traffic, it will be difficult for assistance to reach all the corners of Abyei when needed,” he said.
Inspector Maria Katoole, UNPOL Community Policing Officer, led the campaign by highlighting the causes and effects of accidents as well as strategies to mitigate them.
Among the causes noted were over speeding, reckless driving, not respecting other road users as well as bad road conditions. Drivers were urged to refrain from speeding and reckless driving and respect the sanctity of the life of their passengers and other road users.
UNISFA UNPOL members together with JPC members talked to drivers in their vehicles and distributed pamphlets that carried the traffic safety messages. Drivers were grateful for the initiative and took heed of the call to play it safe on the roads. They, however, appealed to UNISFA to assist by maintaining the roads throughout the year as they become very difficult to navigate especially during the rainy season.