Ghanaian UN peacekeepers under investigations - For alleged sexual misconduct in South Sudan

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
Mr Ambrose Dery
Mr Ambrose Dery

The Ministry of the Interior and the Attorney General's Department are amending the Ghana Police Service (GPS) Regulations 2012 (C176) to include sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, told Parliament yesterday that sexual exploitation and abuse were not explicitly captured under the current regulations.

He said the amendment would bring the Ghana Police Service Regulations in line with United Nations (UN) legislation on sexual exploitation and abuse.

Mr Dery said when the Police Council approved the amendment, it would be taken to the Cabinet for approval and subsequently forwarded to Parliament for consideration and approval.

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He said the country currently operated with UN guidelines on sexual exploitation and abuse and indicated that having legislation on it would better deal with the issue.

Mr Dery was answering questions on the alleged sexual exploitation against Ghanaian UN peacekeepers in South Sudan and their subsequent repatriation to Ghana posed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, and the NDC MP for Adaklu, Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza.

Mr Ablakwa asked whether a statement from the UN Mission in South Sudan alleging that UN peacekeepers from Ghana and part of a former police unit had engaged in sexual exploitation had come to the attention of the Minister of the Interior and the responsive measures being taken by the ministry.

For Mr Agbodza, he wanted to know the circumstances leading to the recall of the UN peacekeepers from South Sudan.

Alleged misconduct

Mr Dery said the GPS was investigating Ghanaian UN peacekeepers for their alleged misconduct in South Sudan.

He said in due course the outcome of the investigation of an undisclosed number of officers out of the 46 officers who were repatriated from South Sudan would be made available.

"In line with the Ghana Police Service's commitment to fight sexual exploitation and abuse and related cases in the field mission, a three-member team of investigators was dispatched to South Sudan on March 11, 2018 to also investigate the matter.

"Again, in line with the UN zero adherence policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, the detachment of 46 personnel was repatriated on administrative grounds to Ghana on May 30, 2018," he said.