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General News Sat, 21 Apr 2001

Defence Ministry gets 300 vehicles from UN

The Ministry of Defence has acquired more than 300 vehicles from the United Nations Interim Force in the Lebanon (UNIFIL) for the various units of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

In addition, Italy has promised to assist the GAF with troops carrying vehicles to facilitate the movement of soldiers in any eventuality.

The Minister of Defence, Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor announced this when he visited the Ghanaian troops participating in a multinational peace keeping exercise at Yendi on Thursday.

The exercise, code-named Cohesion Kozah, has brought together soldiers from nine West African countries to enhance their capacity and harmonise their understanding and operation in peacekeeping procedures.

The Minister, accompanied by the Acting Army Commander, Brigadier Clayton Yaache and the General Officer Commanding the Northern Sector, Brigadier George Aryiku, visited troops of other participating countries stationed at Yendi and Saboba.

Dr Addo Kufuor described the exercise as very important for the sub-region especially at a time "we cannot rely on the international community to immediately come to our assistance in times of crisis".

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He said the exercise was a step towards solving Africa's own problems, adding that the concept of Francophone and Anglophone no longer makes sense.

"What we must understand is that we are all Africans".

Dr Addo Kufuor called on the African leadership to close their ranks before the international community loses interest in the continent.

The Officer Commanding the Ghanaian troops Lt.-Col. George Biah enumerated a number of problems confronting the contingent.

He said they have not yet received any imprest and that the troops are being sustained by goodwill.

"Despite these constraints troops morale is high and we are ready to raise high the flag of Ghana", the Commanding Officer said.

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He commended Ya Na Yakubu Andani II for donating a bull and 100 tubers of yam to the troops.

The Minister paid a courtesy call on the Ya Na at his palace to express gratitude for the hospitality extended to the troops.

Dr Addo Kufuor said the current policy of the military is to cultivate the friendship of the civilian population to build and move the country together.

Ya NA Andani said the exercise would help strengthen relationships among African countries and if held regularly, it would facilitate African unity.

The Ya-Na appealed to the Ministry of Defence to establish military barracks in the North Eastern corridor of the country.

Source: GNA