The United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) has launched a three-week counter-kidnapping training for selected security and law enforcement officers in the West African sub-region.
The training in collaboration with the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom and the Federal Office of Police of Switzerland is part of the Kidnap for Ramson (KFR) project.
The KFR was launched in February 2021, led by UNOCT in partnership with UNODC, with funding and expertise provided by the UK and Northern Ireland and the Federal Office of Police of Switzerland.
Mrs. Harriet Thompson, British High Commissioner to Ghana, said in a statement: “Kidnapping for ransom causes untold misery and has a life-changing impact on victims and their families.”
It aims to strengthen the capacities of Member States to prevent, investigate and counter kidnapping for ransom through legal, institutional and operational technical assistance.
The training also aims to raise awareness of ways to support victims of kidnappings and raise the voices of victims, including as counter-terrorism narratives, while ensuring due process, a fair trial and respect for human rights. ‘male.
She said: “Through this new training, the UK is proud to work and learn alongside our partners here in Ghana and across West Africa to truly eradicate this appalling crime.”
Mr. Tim Segessemann, Attaché at the Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana, who spoke on behalf of the Ambassador of Switzerland to Ghana, Mr. Phillip Stalder, said: “The political fragility and armed conflicts in the region are increasing”.
He said that despite the successes recorded in the democratic and economic development of the region and the participation of civil society, it was clear that the presence of armed groups and their links to international terrorism posed a threat to African States. from West.
Mr Segessemann said their experts at the Swiss Federal Office of Police would focus on helping trainees develop their communication skills while ensuring good practice and proven international standards.
The training began on April 25 and ends on May 12, with the first week dedicated to the Kidnapping Management Course, which will be run by the National Crime Agency.
The course has been designed to provide senior investigators with the knowledge necessary to conduct a kidnapping investigation.
Similarly, the second and third weeks of the training would be centered on hostage negotiation courses. The course was also designed to equip trainees with negotiation skills.
Both courses were in line with good practice, proven international standards and the UNOCT Guidance Manual for Countering Kidnapping and Extortion.
A total of 25 participants have been selected from Ghana, Niger and Togo and will be trained by experts from the National Crime Agency, UK and the Swiss Federal Police, Switzerland.