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12.12.2005 General News

Sub-Regional peace needs external support - Dr Addo-Kufuor

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Accra, Dec. 12, GNA - Defence Minister Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor on Monday called on the international community to assist the West Africa Sub-Region in its quest to mitigate the unending conflicts for the people to live in peace. He said it was the view of many that if bilateral and multilateral donors lent their support to the regional and sub-regional efforts to facilitate peace, there would be more peace, stability, security and more development on the African Continent. To this end, he appealed to the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) to facilitate the proposed deployment of 5,000- man strong ECOWAS standby force of which its success would depend on close and well co-ordinated donor support and assistance.

Dr Addo-Kufuor made the call when the visiting the UK Director for Policy and Defence Relations, Mr Jeremy Jarvies called at his office at Burma Camp in Accra. Mr Javies is in the country to discuss the continued commitment of the UK to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), as well to present future activities between both countries on the defence front. The Minister called on the UK to explore the possibility of helping Ghana to establish a War College. He said it was best if Ghana had its own defence college using the combined resources of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre and the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, to prepare its senior officers for higher level policy, command and staff functions.

Dr Addo-Kufuor said Ghana was currently sending its Senior Officers to US; UK; India and Nigeria War Colleges and this was proving to be very expensive and difficult. "I believe the UK is the best country to help Ghana set up such an institution because of our long standing relations," he said. Mr Jarvies, who reiterated the UK's commitment to its bilateral ties with the GAF, said his visit was part of efforts to strengthen relations between both countries.