The Ministry of National Security, yesterday-July 27, 2021-commenced a 3-day workshop for staff of State Security and Intelligence agencies to, among others, discuss human rights educate personnel on National Security Law and Policy, National Integrated Maritime Strategy, National Border Security Strategy and the recently launched National Security Strategy, as well as build the capacity of personnel to effectively deliver on their mandates.
Participants of the workshop were drawn from the National Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Commission, National Signals Bureau, Ghana Army, Ghana Revenue Authority-Customs Division, the Ghana Immigration Service, and the Ministries of National Security, Justice and Defence.
The importance of the workshop cannot be overemphasised given the negative publicity the ministry has courted in the recent past, on account of reported acts of infringement on civil liberties by some operatives of the Ministry and other State Security Agencies.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Maj General Francis Adu-Amanfoh (Rtd), National Security Coordinator, averred that the workshop forms part of major reforms aimed at sensitising members of the national security community and inculcating in same, respect for human rights, rule of law and adherence to Standard Operating Procedures. He added that efforts are underway to review the State Secrets Act, 1960; an exercise which he described as long overdue.
It would be recalled that the raid of the premises of Citi FM/TV and the alleged assault of Citi FM/TV journalist Caleb Kudah by operatives of the Ministry of National Security, for taking unauthorised photographs at the premises of the Ministry, generated public uproar with most members of the public demanding reforms to the security architecture of the country.
Subsequently, during engagements with key stakeholders, the leadership of the Ministry of National Security acknowledged the concerns raised over the exigencies of some operations conducted by personnel of the Ministry and explained that, National Security operations, which were previously centered on the traditional notion that State Security had been militarised to effectively confront all threats to the State.
However, with the evolution of the concept of national security to include human security, measures were being deployed to ensure an effective balance between safeguarding the territorial integrity of the State and promoting fundamental human rights.
These underpinned the revision of Standard Operating Procedures of the Ministry and the institution of training and capacity building programmes.
Lt. Col AbabioSerebour, Chief Director at the Ministry, expressed hope that the workshop would improve understanding of the relevant National Security Laws and policies, and enhance the operations of the Ministry to engender public confidence in the country’s security architecture.
According to Lt. Col Serebour, four of such workshops have been slated for this year and were aimed at enhancing the capacity of National Security personnel and addressing identified operational gaps, given the evolving nature of both security and law.
The Ministry say it would continue to institute strict measures to ensure compliance with professional standards.