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14.03.2006 General News

Ghana committed to peace and sub-regional stability

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Accra, March 14, GNA - The Minister of Foreign Affairs says Ghana is committed to the promotion of peace and regional security, stability and economic development. Briefing journalists at the Meet the Press Series in Accra on Tuesday, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said this commitment flowed from Ghana's appreciation of the relevance of the West Africa Sub-Region to Ghana's own fortunes.

The Minister who was outlining Ghana's foreign policy position within the Continent and other regional and international bodies, said even though Ghana was often referred to as an oasis of calm in a desert of protracted political conflict in West Africa, Ghanaians knew that they were constantly at risk from conflict in neighbouring countries. He explained that the impact of regional conflicts was as diverse as it was destructive, from the proliferation of arms and refugees, heralding insecurity, humanitarian and logistical crisis to the emergence of illegal markets and plundering of natural resources. The Minister noted that Ghana could not but help to engage in the resolution of regional conflicts in its own backyard, "since we believe that the more Ghana is involved in enhancing democracy within our region, the more we guarantee our own at home".

Nana Akufo-Addo said it was against this background that President John Agyekum Kufuor served a two-year term as chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). During this period the foundation for peace in Liberia was laid by the conclusion of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Accord, which has resulted in the peaceful election of a new President in that country. He explained that Ghana, in addition to its continued presence in the peacekeeping team, was providing technical support for the provision of electricity to Monrovia. "As we speak the Volta River Authority, at the direction of the President, is in the process of organizing significant technical and material assistance to Liberia at their request for electricity to be restored to Monrovia, which has not seen electricity for a decade." He said Ghana had also been effectively involved in the ECOWAS initiative that helped to defuse the tensions in Togo resulting in the smooth election of Faure Gnassingbe following the death of his father President Gnassingbe Eyadema.

"It appears that the inter-Togolese dialogue, which has been encouraged, is beginning to gain momentum, and await further developments as the dialogue confronts sensitive issues of electoral laws, holding of parliamentary elections, composition of the government and the reform of the armed forces of Togo." On La Cote d'Ivoire, Nana Akufo-Addo said the Accra One; Two and Three Accords also gave impetus to the Linas-Marcoussis Accord adding that Ghana was fully engaged in the peace process. He said the unilateral imposition of a ban by Nigeria on imports from Ghana blighted an otherwise brilliant relationship, but high-level discussions between Presidents of the two countries led to the resolving of the matter. "The other issue that clouded the horizon last year was the unexplained death of some Ghanaians in The Gambia."