Forty-six Ghanaian police personnel keeping the peace in Southern Sudan under a United Nations (UN) mandate have been sent back home for allegedly sexually exploiting internally displaced women under their protection.
The deported persons are from the Formed Police Unit (FPU) – formerly Armoured Car Squadron – serving in the restive part of North Africa.
The FPU is an operational unit of the Ghana Police Service highly regimented and responsible for among other duties, manning the law enforcement agency’s fleet of armoured cars.
In South Sudan where the unit has been for some time now, it has been charged with protecting internally displaced persons in a place called Wau, northwest of Juba, capital of South Sudan.
The UN Mission in South Sudan, in taking the action, explained that it was intended to pave way for an investigation into the allegation that the police officers had sexually exploited the women they were charged to protect.
The UN action came at the heels of a complaint that some Ghanaian peacekeepers were having sexual affairs with women living at the camp, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.
In a swift reaction, the police administration issued a statement explaining its position on the matter.
The law enforcement agency, according to the release, received a correspondence from the Secretariat of the UN through the country’s Permanent Mission in New York regarding the alleged scandal and supports the investigation into the alleged scandal by the international organization, adding that it is offering its fullest cooperation in that regard.
The police administration added that it is committed to the maintenance of the highest professional standards by its officers performing UN peacekeeping operations around the world “and will not tolerate any acts or actions by Ghanaian Police Officers that go contrary to the United Nations Rules and Regulations.”
In a related development, the administration has requested the UN to permit a three-member team to be deployed to the mission area with a view to getting a better understanding of the incident, according to ACP David Eklu, Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service.
In mid 2016 or so, a certain Superior Officer of the Ghana Police Service found himself in a similar situation and remained in hiding to obviate a possible court action.
The then Ghanaian envoy to Egypt, Lt. Col. Umaru Sanda (rtd), was asked by the Ghana government to intervene to save the officer from a possible death sentence.
The diplomatic intervention worked and the officer was deported.
The envoy, who studied in neighbouring Egypt, used his Arabic and negotiating skills to get the officer out of what could have been a dire situation at the hand of the locals.