The Ghana Police Service has requested the United Nations to permit a three-member team to be immediately deployed to Wau in South Sudan “for a better understanding” of sexual abuse and exploitation claims against its peacekeeping officers.
A preliminary investigative report by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) cites Ghana’s Formed Police Unit for engaging in sexual activities with women living in the UN Protection of Civilians site in the South Sudan city of Wau.
On Thursday, February 22, a decision was taken to withdraw all the 46 Ghanaian peacekeepers from their duty stations from Wau to Juba.
The action of the Ghanaian police officers is said to be in clear breach of UN and UNMISS codes of conduct.
“UNMISS has informed UN headquarters in New York of the allegations, which in turn notified the Member State that the matter was being investigated by the United Nations.”
Confirming the case, the Ghana Police Service has expressed commitment to ensure that its officers display high professional standards in UN peacekeeping operations.
“[The Service] will not tolerate any acts or actions by Ghanaian Police Officers that [is] contrary to the United Nations Rules and Regulations,” a statement from the Service on Sunday said.
“Meanwhile, the Police Administration has requested the UN to permit a three-member team to be immediately deployed into the mission area for a better understanding of the incident.”
UNMISS admits that the recent case could be isolated.
“On the whole, Ghanaian peacekeepers and police serving with UNMISS have made an excellent contribution to the protection of civilians and building of durable peace in South Sudan.
“It is very disappointing that the behaviour of some police officers risks staining that record of service as well as the Mission’s reputation,” UNMISS said on its website.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana