U.N. WITHDRAWS 46 POLICE OFFICERS FROM SOUTH SUDAN’S WAU OVER SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said, it has recalled a unit of Ghanaian police officers from Wau, and confined them to base, after a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual exploitation.

The UNMISS said, an immediate decision was made to remove the 46-member Ghanaian Formed Police Unit (FPU) from their duty stations, inside a UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) site, in north-western South Sudan.

"The unit was fully withdrawn from the Wau base to Juba, over the next two days," it said.

"UNMISS has a zero tolerance, no excuses, and no second chances approach to sexual exploitation and abuse," the statement said. "Our priority is to put the victims' rights and dignity first and ensure that there is transparency and accountability for such actions," the statement added.

According to UNMISS, a complaint was received on Feb 8, alleging that members of the Ghanaian police officers engaged in sexual activity with women living at the PoC site in Wau.

An investigation was immediately launched by the Office of Internal Oversight Services, within the UN.

"It is very disappointing that the behaviour of some police officers, risks staining the record of service, as well as, the Mission's reputation," it said.

The UN mission said, information received indicates that some members of the FPU allegedly engaged in transactional sex.

"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," it said.

Source: NAM News Network

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