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Thursday, 27 August 2015

170 Ghana Police Service staff members leave for South Sudan

The formed police unit (FPU) boarding the plane

One hundred and seventy police personnel selected from the Formed Police Unit (FPU) of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) have been deployed for United Nation’s (UN) peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. Among them are six officers, including doctors. They would in the main help to protect civilians, sheltering them from violent attacks and also ensure peace and security in South Sudan to help promote the development of that country.

As part of the preparation for the mission, the personnel were taken through public order management, tactical progression and weapon handling. Unlike the usual contingents deployed by the service, the FPU is more concerned with public order management and has more coercive capacity.

The Director-General in charge of police operations, COP John Kudalor, stressed the need for the personnel to exhibit a sense of professionalism and commitment, particularly so because the service could not afford to lower the standard set by Ghana internationally. He said back home, the FPU would be given the needed attention to be prepared to support any country in terms of peace and security.

For his part, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, said the GPS had been participating in the UN mission since 1960 and had served in various areas.

He said for the first time the police administration was deploying the specialised group in order to deal with public disturbances, protect civilians, provide escort duties and help ensure peace in that country. He said the investment in the area of training was high and the service had been battling for a long time due to the required equipment needed in the training.

Notwithstanding the challenges, he said the deployment of the personnel for the UN mission had given the service high recognition internationally. Violence erupted in South Sudan's capital Juba in mid-December 2013 and spread to oil-producing regions and beyond, dividing the four-year-old landlocked country along ethnic lines.

Juba's government forces are battling an armed rebellion by forces. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 1.6 million driven from their homes in the world's youngest state.

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