Home | News    Sunday 25 February 2018

UNMISS withdraws Ghanaian police over sexual abuse allegations in S. Sudan

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Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Sylivia Adzo Sowlitse commands the Ghanaian police unit at the UN protection p site in Bentiu, on 19 September 2017 (UNMISS photo)
February 24, 2018 (JUBA) - The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Saturday announced the withdrawal of a Ghanaian police unit working at the camp of displaced civilians in Wau to investigate into allegations of sexual exploitation.

The decision to probe the allegations comes following a complaint received on 8 February, alleging that members of the Ghanaian Formed Police Unit (FPU) were engaging in sexual activity with women living at the IDPs camp in Wau.

"UNMISS has a zero tolerance, no excuses, and no second chances approach to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). Our priority is to put the victims’ rights and dignity first and ensure that there are transparency and accountability for such actions," said a statement released by the mission.

On Thursday 22 February, the head of the peacekeeping operation, David Shearer and other mission leaders were briefed on the outcome of the preliminary investigation which indicated that "some members of the FPU allegedly engaged in transactional sex".

Following what it was decided to remove the 46-member police unit from the camp. All the members of the Ghanaian police unit have been withdrawn to Juba in two days.

"This is a clear breach of the UN and UNMISS Code of Conduct which prohibits sexual relationships with vulnerable individuals, including all beneficiaries of assistance," UNMISS said.

An independent office within the United Nations the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) has already launched the investigation.

However, the mission stressed that there is no "indication that this behaviour is more widespread within the Mission". Also, I was keen to praise the contribution of the Ghanaian troops emphasising that it was an individual behaviour of some Ghanaian soldiers.

" 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".

Also, the UN peacekeeping department in New York was informed about the allegations. Also, Ghana was notified about the ongoing investigation with its troops.

There are six protection sites in South Sudan, housing some 204,501 residents

UNMISS comprises 17,000 troops including 4,000 soldiers of the Regional Protection Forces.

(ST)

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  • 24 February 23:46, by Chinese

    This is the kind of news I like to comment on. I salute the UNMISS leadership in South Sudan for withdrawing the Ghanian police from WAU for their involvement in sexual exploitations of our women and girls.A precedent is now set. This means that anyone who thinks can come to South Sudan and abuse South Sudanese women will now think twice before involving in the act.

    repondre message

    • 25 February 14:31, by Alexander The Great

      UN peacekeepers are a disgrace and thus, must all vacate South Sudan. They are a liability that must be quickly gotten rid off.

      repondre message

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