24.09.2004 General News

Desist from making unguarded statements - Armed Forces

24.09.2004 LISTEN

Accra, Sept. 24, GNA - The Ghana Armed Forces on Friday asked the public to desist from making unguarded statements that would make the work of security agencies even more difficult as elections approach.

"As civil society increasingly becomes seized by the electioneering fever, the Ghana Armed Forces calls on all Ghanaians to desist from taunts and other unguarded statements, which would make the work of the security agencies even more exacting," the Armed Forces said in a statement.

"The Ghana Armed Forces is on the other hand even more ready to defend the Constitution and the nation against external aggression at the peril of our lives," the statement signed by Colonel E.W.K. Nibo, Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces said.

The Armed Forces said it was reacting to a statement made by former President Jerry Rawlings on the military honour the US Armed Forces bestowed on Lieutenant General Seth Obeng, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS).

"The Ghana Armed Forces is justifiably proud of his impeccable military credentials and the considerable progress which has been made under his exemplary leadership.

"Under such enlightened leadership, even greater heights can be attained with the sense of purpose and esprit de corps now prevailing through the rank and file."

The statement said the Ghana Armed Forces was not flattered when past misuse and manipulation of the institution, which almost destroyed the esprit de corps and combat readiness, were referred to in terms that tended to ignore the remarkable progress made towards the restoration of professionalism, loyalty, discipline and responsible conduct.

"Let no one belittle the efforts of the Ghana Armed Forces, together with the support of the UN and bona fide institutions and organisations.... and individuals are making to help enhance the international image of the Ghana Armed Forces."

The statement listed the credentials of Lt. Gen. Obeng, saying he completed his Junior Defence College course at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College at Teshie and Passed Staff College (psc) at the Command and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, USA, where he was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, as one of the outstanding foreign students.

"Indeed, it is only graduates of that prestigious institution who are inducted to that Hall of Fame."

The statement said the CDS also successfully completed the National Defence College, a course, which is particularly designed to prepare talented military officers for higher command roles, at the National Defence College in New Delhi.

He served as the Deputy Force Commander of ECOMOG in Liberia, Force Commander of MONUA in Angola and Force Commander of UNIFIL in Southern Lebanon.

It said the Meritorious Service Medal awarded to the CDS by the US was for his "exceptional meritorious service" and contribution to the peace and stability in the sub-region as Chairman of the ECOWAS Defence and Security Commission.

General Obeng has also won a number of international awards including those from Lebanon and Cote d'Ivoire.

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