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12.08.2006 General News

Akufo-Addo Brings Drugs Smuggling Issue To UN

By The Statesman
Akufo-Addo Brings Drugs Smuggling Issue To UN
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The President of the United Nations Security Council and Foreign Minister of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has called on the world body to give urgent attention to pressing issues in West Africa, such as drug smuggling.

Addressing the Security Council this week, Nana Akufo-Addo said, "It is of utmost importance that we re-double efforts to resolve in the shortest time possible some of the issues that pose a clear and present danger to peace and security in West Africa.

"In particular, we should aim at achieving the complete demobilization, disarmament, and re-integration of ex-combatants, particularly child soldiers and mercenaries."

But, with the hot issue of over two tones of smuggled cocaine reportedly vanishing in Ghana, and reports of hitmen from Columbia apparently making their way to Ghana to settle scores, the Foreign Minister immediately drew the link between the growing drug trafficking menace and the potential it causes to the already fragile security situation in the sub-region.

"There are also critical cross-border issues which should be urgently addressed, such as the illicit trade and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, illegal dealings in mineral and natural resources, smuggling of narcotics, human trafficking, repatriation of refugees and resettlement of internally displaced persons."

In response, the Security Council issued a communiqué which said, among other things, "The Security Council stresses the continued need for assisting West African states and ECOWAS to curb illicit cross-border activities."

Further more, "The Security Council emphasizes the regional dimension of peace and security in West Africa and requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the ECOWAS Secretariat, to submit to it by the end of the year a report with recommendations on the co-operation between the United Nations' missions deployed in the region and on the cross-border issues in West Africa."

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