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19.05.2007 General News

Germany asked to help set up ECOWAS force


The Defence Minister Kwame Addo-Kufuor has called on Germany to assist ECOWAS in its quest to set up the proposed 1,500-strong ECOWAS Standby Force (ECOSAF) to sustain peace in the sub-region.

He said though the idea was laudable, the effective implementation of the concept had been hampered by the lack of necessary logistics.

“Thus, any support in the form of communication equipment, vehicles and other military equipment would be most appreciated,” he said.

The Minister made the appeal when a ten-man delegation from German Federal Parliament Budgetary Committee called on him at Burma Camp in Accra.

The delegation is in the country to inspect various projects of the German Military Equipment Aid and to interact with members of the Ghana's Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence.

Dr. Addo-Kufuor who briefed the delegation on the status of the ECOSAF said although all the countries in the bloc were keen on establishing the force, the struggling nature of these nations made it imperative for other well endowed countries to assist in the concept.

He said: “The effectiveness of the standby force would depend on the availability of resources.”

The force, he said, when effective would reduce the reliance of the sub-region on the international scene and serve as a deterrent to potential trouble makers in West Africa.

The Minister expressed appreciation for Germany's assistance to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) over the years, saying, “Such assistance has contributed immensely to human resource development and the capacity building in the Ghana Armed Forces.”

He expressed the hope that the excellent and cordial relations between both countries as well as the cooperation between the GAF and the German Advisory Group would continue.

Mr Herbert Frankenhauser, leader of the delegation commended Ghana for the role it has assumed in maintaining peace around the world.

He said Germany would continue to collaborate with Ghana and contribute to initiative that towards peace building.

Germany, through its advisory group in the country, have assisted the GAF with a number of projects including the financial support for the construction of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre, medical equipment to the 37th Military Hospital, donation of equipment to the Army Recruit Training, the Mechanical Transport and the Engineer Training Schools, the Bundase Training Camp.

Source: GNA