UNMISS recalls police unit over alleged sexual abuse


The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan recalled a Ghanaian police unit working at one protection camp while it investigates allegations of sexual abuse.

The mission Sudan said it asked the 46-member unit to return to Juba from its Protection of Civilians site in Wau after an investigation into a complaint that unit members were having sexual relations with women at the camp.

UNMISS said in a statement its head, David Shearer, and other mission leaders were briefed about the initial investigation and a decision was made to withdraw the unit from the site.
“The information received indicates some members of the FPU (Formed Police Unit) 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.
“UNMISS has informed UN headquarters in New York of the allegations, which in turn notified the Member State the matter was being investigated by the United Nations. There is no indication this behaviour is more widespread within the Mission.”

The United Nations has six civilian protection sites across the country, housing some 204,501 people.

UNMISS comprises over 17,000 peacekeeping personnel including 13,000 soldiers and 1,500 police officers.