Two hundred and eighteen police personnel of the Formed Police Unit (FPU) have been trained for peacekeeping duties in South Sudan next January.
The eight week pre-deployment training programme is in fulfillment of President John Dramani Mahama’s pledge at the 2015 United Nations General Assembly in the United States of America (USA) to support peacekeeping missions.
The troops would be the first batch of two groups to be sent on the mission, with the second batch expected to leave in February, next year.
The training was conducted by officials of the International Police Peacekeeping Operations Support (IPPOS) from the United States.
The Commanding Officer of the Formed Police Unit, Chief Superintendent Hamza Yakubu, speaking at the closing ceremony, dismissed reports that the FPU trainees were being prepared to be deployed for illegal electoral functions.
He said the trainees would be deployed for peacekeeping and not for any other purpose.
“It is sad to note that for some unknown reasons sections of the Ghanaian Public have been peddling lies that they are privy to information that these trainees are preparing to be deployed for illegal electoral functions,” he said, and
asked those behind the rumours to “ask God for forgiveness”.
He asked the US to assist in putting up a simulation house, known as the “shoot house which would enhance future trainings.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) John Kudalor said the face of peacekeeping in the UN was changing, and was now more of peace enforcement.
The US ambassador to Ghana, Robert Porter Jackson, said the United States was encouraged by Ghana’s commitment to peacekeeping and its quick response in organising training and deploying the Unit.
Mr. Jackson tasked the police force to recruit well-qualified police and ensure they arrived at their missions fully trained, to perform important and mandated duties.
By Jemima Esinam Kuatsinu