Workshop on Human Rights: Gabonese police attend a seminar on “Human Rights Protection in the Judicial Process and Democratic Crowd Management”
Photo caption: For one week, the National Police Force will strengthen its understanding of situations requiring respect for human rights, including in the context of maintaining law and order and during police custody. Photo UNOCA/Norbert N. Ouendji
After five days of work, 33 participants in the seminar on "Human Rights Protection in the Judicial Process and Democratic Crowd Management" received their certificates on Friday 23 February at a ceremony at the National Police Forces Command (FPN).
The event was chaired by Mr. Séraphin Ibouanga, Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of the Interior, and was also attended by the Public Prosecutor, Mr. Steeve Ndong Essame Ndong, the UNOCA representative, Mr. Norbert N. Ouendji (Head of the Strategic Communication and Public Information Unit), and Major General Marcel Yves Mapangou Moussadji, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the FPN in charge of Operational Units and Logistics. In his closing remarks, the Senior Officer reiterated the importance of this capacity-building session, urging the beneficiaries to put into practice what they have learned.
Restoring trust with citizens...
The session helped the police in particular to sensitize on the need to accomplish their missions not only by showing professionalism, but also by rigorously respecting human rights. The final report of the workshop highlights these lessons, which are decisive for the restoration of a "climate of trust between the National Police Forces and the population on the one hand, and on the other hand, between the National Police Forces and the decision-making authorities". In this perspective, the participants hoped this type of training would be multiplied and opened to a greater number of police officers.
They renewed their gratitude to UNOCA for its response to the training request formulated by the High Commander of the FNP. They requested the Office to continue to support them in the implementation of the recommendations. These include, among others, the urgent need to operationalize the Technical and Scientific Police Directorate; the need to organize thematic sessions for Judicial Police Officers (OPJs) - particularly with regard to the articulation of the investigation procedure; etc. Regarding communication and relations with the press, some also expressed their wish to hold a meeting between national police forces and journalists.
On behalf of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa, Mr. Norbert N. Ouendji reaffirmed UNOCA's readiness to continue to provide necessary assistance in the implementation of NPF projects. He took this opportunity to commend their positive collaboration with UNOCA, in particular with Commissioner Irene Gaga, Senior Police/UNOCA Advisor (in sky blue in the photo below), a key figure in the organization of the workshop. To enhance this fruitful collaboration, a souvenir was presented to the Second Commander of the FPN: an art object representing the UN logo with the acronym “UNOCA”.