General News of Friday, 28 October 2005
Accra, Oct. 28, GNA - Captain Nkrabea Effah-Dartey (rtd), Deputy Minister of the Interior, on Friday urged Police personnel to respect the basic human rights of citizens as they discharged their duties, especially in rioting situations.
He said: "Police officers have delicate responsibilities in handling demonstrations. They should, therefore, be careful in discharging their duties, particularly, in sporting activities and in chieftaincy disputes".
Speaking at a passing out parade for the second batch of 220 personnel of the Police Rapid Deployment Unit, Capt. Effah-Dartey asked the citizenry, especially, demonstrators and rioters to also abide by the laws of the land whenever they exercised that demonstration right. He said the belief of the Government in democracy did not warrant citizens to be lawless, saying, "Democracy is not a licence for lawlessness. It dose not mean people should cause mayhem and disorder in the country".
Capt. Effah-Dartey asked the personnel, who would be deployed to Kumasi to handle situations in the northern part of the country to be circumspect as they confronted any situation that might arise in the sector.
He thanked the French Government for sponsoring the four-week training programme, which fell under an agreement signed between France and Ghana in 2002.
Under the said agreement, a first batch of 120 personnel was last year trained and deployed to handle cases in the southern part of the country.
French experts brought down from France trained the personnel in rapid dispersal of mob and demonstrators, protection of VIPs and crowd control during football matches and State events. The Inspector General of Police, Mr Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong said the training was a welcomed opportunity that had afforded the Police to manage crisis with little or no casualty, adding that, it was such training that would equip the Police to meet modern trends of policing.
He said personnel, who took part in the first training session and were deployed in demonstrations like the "Wahala" demonstrations performed so well that no serious casualty. Mr Pierre Jaquemot, French Ambassador, said his country, which shared the same common values in human rights with Ghana decided to help her with the training to ensure the maintenance of law and public order during demonstration and civil unrests.