Ghanaian police officer wins UN female peacekeeping award

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The annual United Nations Female Police Officer of the Year Award, formerly known as the International Female Police Peacekeeper Award, was on Monday, November 19, 2018, presented to Ghanaian police officer from the United Nations Mission in Somalia {UNSOM}, Chief Superintendent of Police, Mrs. Phyllis Ama Tebuah Osei.

The award was presented during a ceremony co-hosted by the United Nations Police Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations.

Mrs. Osei, a superintendent of police from the Ghana Police Service, was selected for the Award as her policing work, directly and positively impacted the community and the host state police in Jubaland, Somalia.

Acording to her UN, her contributions to enhancing the protection of women and girls, as well as her initiatives to promote women rights in the host state police, embody the spirit of the Award and embrace the values of international policing.

“It is an honour to work for UNSOM, where I assisted in strengthening activities on gender and child related issues”, says UN Police Officer Osei. “I also support the police in Jubaland on issues of Justice and Human Rights”, she added.

Officer Osei has been particularly successful at initiating an adult literacy training for 49 female police officers in Jubaland. The training’s overall goal is to improve their literacy and increase their chances for future promotions. She also formed a Female Peacekeeper Network (FPN) within UNSOM and AMISOM to provide support to female peacekeepers.

United Nations Police Adviser, Commissioner Luis Carrilho in a statement by the UN, praised the awardee for her exemplary conduct. “Mrs. Osei was deployed to Somalia earlier this year in February 2018”, he said. “By April, she had already identified and trained two gender focal points in AMISOM who went onto mentor and advise police officers in the host state police, thereby contributing to the building of a much-needed capacity. Soon after, Ms. Osei established four gender desks in the host state police, facilitated a training on sexual and gender-based violence, and initiated a proposal that called for the establishment of a police post near the community thus ensuring access for SGBV survivors”.

Mr. Carrilho explains that nominations are requested annually from all peacekeeping and special political missions where UN police are deployed. Based on criteria for high performance, a selection committee, comprising policing and peacekeeping experts, evaluate the conduct and achievements of the nominees with an emphasis on impact of policing service delivery.

The Award aims to establish a role model for women police peacekeepers and to promote the UN Secretary General’s Gender Parity Strategy and DPKO’s Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy, through encouraging Member-states to deploy more female police officers to peacekeeping and special political missions.

About the Awardee

Officer Osei has been particularly successful at initiating an adult literacy training for 49 female police officers in Jubaland.

The training’s overall goal is to improve their literacy and increase their chances for future promotions. She also formed a Female Peacekeeper Network (FPN) within UNSOM and AMISOM to provide support to female peacekeepers.

She holds three Master’s degrees from Middlesex University in the UK, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) as well as the University of Ghana.

14 peacekeeping policemen interdicted for sexual misconduct

In July 2018, fourteen out of the forty-six police personnel who were repatriated from South Sudan for alleged sexual misconduct were interdicted by the Ghana Police Service.

The personnel who were on a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan were sent back home for alleged sexual exploitation.

Their repatriation followed separate investigations by both the Ghana Police Service and the United Nations. A police internal communication sighted has directed that the residences of these interdicted officers be searched and all weapons, uniforms and other police accoutrements retrieved.

The investigation into the conduct of the officers began after reports emerged that they were having transactional sex with women living in one of the protection camps with gifts or favours given in exchange for the encounters.

Peacekeepers accused of sexual misconduct recalled by police 

The Ghana Police Service has since recalled the 14 officers.

According to a police internal memo sighted, the personnel have been recalled to resume work while investigations continue.

ABOUT: Ellsamwise King

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