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General News Wed, 22 Jan 2003

$4.5m From China for Barracks

The Minister of Defence and Acting Interior Minister Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor yesterday cut the sod for the construction of barracks for the Military and received a donation of twenty-three vehicles from the Chinese Government.

The barracks comprising three blocks of twenty-eight units and two blocks of twelve units will accommodate 105 families.

They have been financed from an interest-free loan of $4.5 million from the Government of the People's Republic of China to the Ghana Armed Forces and the Police Service.

Dr. Addo-Kufuor said Ghana and China continue to enjoy excellent economic, political, social and cultural relations and the mutual benefits from these ties are seen in increased trade between the two countries especially in the manufacturing and technological sectors, thus promoting technical and scientific co-operation.

He said the donation of vehicles including four tipper trucks, eight troops carrying vehicles, six double cabin pick-ups and five single cabin pick-ups was made possible with a grant of $482,000, and expressed the hope that they would improve the transport situation in the Ghana Armed Forces.

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The Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Lu Yongshou, said China attaches importance to the friendly relations and cooperation with Ghana.

He said the donation is to support the capacity building of the Ghana Armed Forces and a manifestation of the friendship between China's Armed Forces and the Ghana Armed Forces.

Mr. Lu Yongshou said since Dr. Addo-Kufuor assumed office he has added significantly to the high reputation enjoyed by the Ghana Armed Forces.

He added that China would continue to support Ghana and promote military, economic and technical co-operation between the two countries.

In related development, the United Kingdom government is providing the Ghana government with ?2 million in support of Ghana's participation in the West African peacekeeping operation in Cote d'Ivoire. The funding is to be used to provide logistical and other supplies for the Ghanaian Contingent of the Cote d'Ivoire peacekeeping force, dubbed ECOFORCE.

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A memorandum of understanding (MOU) in respect of the British support was signed at the Ministry of Defence, ON Monday by the Minister for Defence, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, and the Acting British High Commissioner, Mr. Robin Gwynn.

Speaking after the signing, Dr. Addo-Kufuor said Ghana was grateful to the UK government for providing her such resources to support the Ghanaian Contingent. He said he hoped this support would go long way to help maintain lasting peace in Cote d'Ivoire.

The Defence Minister, who also Acting Minister of the Interior, also requested assistance to enhance the training of the civil police and especially for the Police College.

The Acting High Commissioner, expressing the British Government's belief that a peaceful political solution to the Ivorian crisis was vital for both Cote d'Ivoire and the sub-region, said his government valued Ghana's contribution to resolving the difficult problem, hence her consistent support for Ghana's peacekeeping efforts.

Mr. Gwynn hoped that the current peace negotiations in France would provide a framework for a lasting resolution to the problem.

Source: Accra Mail