Ghana’s Police Service has served notice it will dismiss any of its personnel accused of sexual exploitation in South Sudan if found guilty after investigations.
The Service says it has written to the UN to grant it permission to send a team from Ghana to South Sudan to have firsthand information about the sexual scandal that has since attracted criticism from Ghanaians.
A total of 46 personnel of the Formed Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service were on February 22 recalled from Wau and confined to a base in Juba after a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual exploitation.
According to the UN, it received information that the Ghanaian personnel were allegedly engaged in transactional sex clear breach of the UN and UNMISS Code of Conduct that prohibits sexual relationships with vulnerable individuals.
Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu stated the alleged conduct of the personnel has put the “image of the police service into disrepute,” assuring an inquiry proceedings will be instituted against them on their return
“The necessary administrative inquiry will be conducted upon their return and if they’re found guilty they may be reduced in rank or removed from the service,” he said on Sunrise Morning show on 3FM Monday.
He explained the team the Service intends to send to South Sudan is “to get a full understanding of the issues involved in this very disturbing incident.
ACP Eklu said the Service is disappointed in its personnel involved in the alleged “transactional sex”, indicating the Service’s clean record in peacekeeping has been dented by what he termed the indiscretion of the personnel.
“We are not happy. We’re disappointed that our excellent record that we have chalked in peacekeeping missions over the years seem to have been stained by this few acts of indiscretion by a few of our officers currently on peacekeeping mission in South Sudan” he observed.
He, however, dismissed assertions that the personnel involved were not trained for peacekeeping missions, saying “…the training, the scrutiny, everything has been done per the UN standard”.
ACP Eklu said incident may have been as a result of “command, control and supervision” problems, something he said the UN report captured. “There was a breakdown in command and control,” stated.
He explained the procedure required in recruiting personnel for peacekeeping missions is a rigorous process that meets international standards.
“They are selected from their units and interviewed and then taken through rigorous training for eight weeks and those who pass are dispatched to serve on peacekeeping missions and there is a training curriculum with support from the international community that they go through before they’re sent for peacekeeping missions”, he explained
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