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18.01.2006 General News

Accountable military prerequisite for sustainable devt

By GNA

Accra, Jan. 18, GNA - Defence Minister Kwame Addo-Kufuor on Wednesday noted that a responsible and accountable military reduced the risk of conflict, provided security for citizens and created the right environment for sustainable development.

"The military is now aware of the need to be subordinated to constitutional authority. The Officers of the GAF currently do not only appreciate the need to protect the sovereignty, the constitution, and national institutions of the country, but also regard themselves as serious development partners of the government", he said. Dr Addo-Kufuor said this when he took his turn in the first in the series of Meet-the-Press for this year in Accra.

He said military personnel had not only limited themselves to creating the conditions for sustainable development but were engaged in activities like feeder road construction, agro-forestry, anti-armed robbery and cocoa smuggling campaigns, and medical evaluation. The Minister said personnel were prepared to do more if equipment and other material resources were made available to them. Touching on the defence policy of Ghana, he held that it was the primary goal of the government to create a congenial environment for economic growth and enhance opportunities for every individual to pursue his or her legitimate interest in a fair and just society. He said it was government's desire to ensure a democratic society in which individuals were guaranteed their basic human rights, including freedoms of association, expression, the right to education and freedom of worship.

However, such conditions for economic progress and guaranteed individual liberties, were dependent on the security of the state, he said.

"Such a security is tied not only to development within the borders of Ghana but also to the stability of the West African Sub-region, the Africa region and the world at large".

Additionally, the call to confront terrorism throughout the world, he noted, placed a heavy responsibility on Ghana to contribute her quota if she should remain a responsible member of the world community and benefit from the economic opportunities available to it.

Ghana's defence policy is thus based on factors considered important to national well-being and the security of the country. These include, safeguarding the country's constitution and preserving her territorial integrity, contributing to the socio-economic development of the nation and effective management of the national resources, ensuring security in the West African sub-region in particular and Africa in general and contributing towards peace and stability in Africa and the wider world.

Others include ensuring the development of a highly professional and politically neutral Armed Forces that is subject to democratic control, Equipping the GAF, within the budgetary constraints of the nation, to make it an effective tool for national defence and development, fostering a healthy civil-military relations in line with the policy of national integration and reconciliation and assisting the Ghana Police Service as well as other internal security agencies when called upon.

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