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General News of Saturday, 28 November 2015


Aning welcomes Police 'political unit' plan

A security researcher at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Dr Kwesi Aning, has applauded moves by the Police administration to set up a desk to monitor political activities ahead of the 2016 elections.

Dr Aning, however, disagrees with the description of the new programme as a “political desk.” He feels the perception the public will attach to the desk will defeat the purpose for its introduction.

“It is very laudable, but the name given to it is unfortunate because people can misconstrue what it means. I think a threat vulnerability unit or a risk vulnerability unit is more neutral than a political assessment unit,” he said in an interview Friday evening.

“So far as the perception is that it is a political unit, whatever conclusions are drawn will also be seen in a political light,” he noted.

Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), John Kudalor, instructed regional commanders to institute political desks across all police headquarters in the various regions at a conference of regional police commanders in Accra.

“2016 will usher us into the presidential and parliamentary campaigns. It will not only be a test of our democracy, but also a test of our professionalism. There is the need for the police to perform their functions to ensure that peace prevails,” the IGP said.

Per the arrangement, senior police officers are to supervise the programme and they must be “capable of analysing political trends within the region and making objective recommendations that will serve as basis for carrying out operations in the region.”

Dr Aning said the police should “bring together critical civil society with think tanks, who have expertise in these kinds of investigations to support the police” to effectively execute the programme.

He told Starr FM’s Bernard Nassara Saibu that special attention should be given to the monitoring of political supporters, who deface posters; people who issue threats; vigilante groups, who perpetuate violence; as well as the source of funding of political parties.