General News of Thursday, 8 November 2018
Government says it is yet to conclude its investigations into the case of some Ghanaian police peacekeepers indicted by the United Nations for sexual misconduct in South Sudan last year.
Though the Police Administration in May this year said investigations by the IGP’s three-man investigative team had concluded its work, the Interior Minister Ambrose Dery claimed in Parliament Thursday the team was yet to finish with the investigations.
Director General of the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards, COP Kofi Boakye who said in May the investigations had ended, noted that the Police was awaiting the results of the UN investigators to “compare notes in order to have a compete and comprehensive report”.
But when summoned by Parliament to brief members of the House what have been the results of the investigations, Mr. Dery said the investigations are expected to end by the end of November 2018, nine months on.
Some MPs wanted to know if the sexual exploitation incident had affected Ghana’s participation UN in peacekeeping but the minister responded in the negative, noted even after that incident some troops were deployed for peacekeeping.
Mr. Dery said some of those police officers who were withdrawn from South Sudan over the alleged sex exploitation and abuse have been interdicted while others are still at post.
He revealed steps are being taken by the Interior Ministry and the office of the Attorney General to amend the Ghana Police Service Regulations 2012 (CI176) to include sexual exploitation and abuse which are not explicitly captured in its current form.
A total of 46 personnel of the Formed Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service were on February 22, 2017 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 at the time that 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 February 26.
The Police, he said, wrote to the UN to grant it permission to send a team from Ghana to South Sudan to have firsthand information about the sexual scandal.
On May 30, 2018, the officers involved were repatriated to Accra.