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18.05.2007 General News

Ghana not ready for Somalia - Addo Kufuor

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The Minister of Defence, Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, has stated that Ghana is not ready to deploy troops to Somalia.

Speaking during his recent visit to the Third Battalion of Infantry of the Ghana Army in Sunyani, he commended the battalion's role in internal security, as well as maintaining law and order in the sub-region, particularly along the border with la Cote d'Ivoire.

Dr Addo Kufuor urged the troops to be extra vigilant at the border due to the current situation in that neighbouring country.

He said Ghanaians appreciated the support the Garrison had given to the Police in several operations, including "Operation Calm Life", to the Forestry Commission.

The Defence Minister appealed to the armed forces to remain loyal to the government and the people in maintaining a political order that would continue to protect the constitution and maintain peace and security.

Dr Addo Kufuor noted that the most difficult problem that had confronted service personnel over the years was the lack of adequate accommodation and announced that the Ministry was expending 20 million dollars on an urgent housing scheme for the troops.

Under the scheme, he said, the construction of 18 four-storey blocks, each expected to house 16 families, had already begun in Accra, Takoradi, Tema, Ho and Tamale.

He said the Ministry would use ¢10.5 billion on the renovation and construction of living quarters and other facilities for the Three Garrison in Sunyani.

He added that the projects were expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Dr Addo Kufuor noted that the retention of over-aged service personnel due to the lack of funds for their release had been the major cause of the accommodation problem, but announced that the Ministry was seeking ¢67 billion for that purpose.

Source: GNA

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