Accra, Sept. 2, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday called on the military in the West Africa Sub-Region to strive to sustain the improving level of peace and political stability. He said the Sub-Region was in a critical period of reconstruction with the civil wars, conflicts and political instability that characterised its immediate past, giving way to peace and democracy and, therefore, the need for all, especially the armed forces to ensure that this refreshing evolution was not disturbed.
President Kufuor was addressing the graduation parade of 76 Officer Cadets - three from Benin, two from Burkina Faso and the remaining Ghana - at the Ghana Military Academy and Training School at Teshie after 23 months training. Among them were two females.
President Kufuor said the socio-political evolution of the Sub-Region was the positive outcome of dialogue, hard work and goodwill on the part of individuals, groups and organisations within and outside adding that he was hopeful those countries yet to move into the normalcy of constitutional rule would soon follow suit.
"In the foreseeable future, the entire Sub-Region will come to share in the common values of good governance, social and economic evolution."
The President made reference to recent allegations of various scandals involving United Nations (UN) peacekeepers including stealing, sexual abuse, gun running, drug and human trafficking. Such acts, he said, did not only constitute human rights violations, but also had serious and far-reaching consequences. He said he was, therefore, proud that so far no single Ghanaian soldier had been implicated in any of those scandals and commended the country's soldiers on peacekeeping duties for the display of exemplary conduct that had raised the country's image.
President Kufuor gave the assurance that, despite the many difficulties; his administration would continue to make all efforts to improve the lot of the officers and men of the GAF.
"Trust this government, and let us work together to build a just, humane and prosperous nation to the benefit of us all." The President reminded the graduating officer cadets that their commission placed on them greater responsibility since they were now part of the leadership in their profession.
They should maintain high standards of discipline and moral conduct.
Cadet Officer Richard Amedeka, was adjudged the best all round Officer cadet and received the Sword of Honour. Cadet Officer Mark Kobina Hagan took the Military Cane award, while Cadet Sergeant Francis Laapo won the academic prize with the Foreign Cadet Award going to Cadet Sergeant Francis Quedraogo from Burkina Faso.
Other award winners were Midshipman Joseph Gura, Excellence in Sea Navigation Skills; Flight Cadet Baba Billey, Eagle Trophy and Cadet Sergeant David Kpodo, Commandant's award.
In attendance, were Professor Adjei Bekoe, Chairman of the Council of State, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Defence Minister; Mr Paapa Owusu Ankomah, the Interior Minister, the Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Major General Joseph Boateng Danquah; Mr Patrick Acheampong, Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Service and Formation Commanders of the GAF. 2 September 05