Police forces - Human rights: raising awareness on judicial processes and democratic crowd management

21 Feb 2018

Police forces - Human rights: raising awareness on judicial processes and democratic crowd management

At the initiative of UNOCA and the National Police Forces (FPN) of Gabon, a workshop opened on Monday 19 February at the FPN Command with the aim to strengthen the operational capacities of 34 police officers in the area of "protection of human rights in the context of the judicial process and democratic crowd management". The opening ceremony was presided over by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Interior, Mrs. Judith Koumba Mombo Pembe, in the presence of the Prosecutor of the Republic, Mr. Steeve Ndong Essame Ndong, the Lieutenant General, Commander-in-Chief of the FPN, Mr. Jean Clotaire Thierry Oye Zue and the Chief of Staff of UNOCA, Mr. Anatole Ayissi.

Facing today's challenges

In his introductory remarks, Mr. Ayissi, speaking on behalf of the Special Representative and Head of UNOCA, underscored the relevance of this training session, stressing the importance of reinforcing the knowledge and skills of NPFs in the areas concerned.  This workshop "will make police forces better equipped to effectively accomplish their mission, both to protect people and property, and to maintain law and order," he said. In this regard, the Chef de Cabinet/UNOCA highlighted the challenges that participants face at the national and regional levels. At the regional level, he referred to the increasing terrorist threat and immigration issues, including the opening of borders within CEMAC states. Lieutenant General Jean Clotaire Thierry OYE ZUE stressed that the training will contribute to "improve the professional qualification of the National Police Forces" and at the same time "maintain confidence between citizens and public authorities as a guarantor of the security of populations on national territory".

Introduction to Human Rights

The actual work began immediately after the opening ceremony with a session devoted to the introduction to human rights. Several other themes are on the agenda: gender, human trafficking, relations between the public and the police, powers of judicial police officer, and the security forces in dealing with communication issues and so on. This last issue will be a major discussion point on Friday 23 February following a presentation by a scholar, Anaclet Ndong Ngoua (Study and Research Group on Communication / Omar Bongo University).

Among the trainers were UNOCA experts and officials of the Ministry of Interior, including senior Gabonese police officers.  They took an interactive approach that allows participants not only to give their vision or perception of the concepts discussed, but also to deepen their understanding of situations requiring respect for human rights, including in the context of order maintenance and detention.