General News Tue, 3 Aug 1999

UN does not pay soldiers for peacekeeping

The United Nations (UN) does not pay soldiers for their peacekeeping operations but rather the world body reimburses government for money spent on the training of soldiers for the peacekeeping duties.

Dr Tony Aidoo, Deputy Minister for Defence, who disclosed this, said the UN pays 32 dollars per day per soldier. He said the government gives each soldier 16 dollars, which is 50 per cent of the money and uses the remaining 16 dollars for training, purchase of equipment and logistics. He said it is, therefore, not true that the UN pays the money to soldiers personally as is the general belief among soldiers. Dr Aidoo was addressing officers and men of the Four Garrison in Kumasi, as part of his tour of battalions under the Second Infantry Brigade.

The Deputy Minister said in order to continue to take part in the peacekeeping duties, government needs the reimbursement for the training, purchase of equipment and logistics. On payment of duties on items soldiers bring from their peacekeeping operations, Dr Aidoo said it is only Parliament, which can enact a law to exempt them from the payment of duties. He told the soldiers that it is they themselves, who have abused the privilege they enjoyed in the past and said they are the very people, who should give clear indications that the privilege when restored would not be abused again.

Brigadier H.K. Anyidoho, Commander of the Second Infantry Brigade Group, said the loyalty of his troops was unquestionable and that they would continue to do so.

Earlier, the Deputy Minister had inspected facilities of the garrison, including the complex, which house soldiers of the Four Garrison and parade square.

Briefing the Deputy Minister, Lieutenant-Colonel Fuseini Iddrisu, the Commanding Officer of the Fourth Battalion of Infantry, on behalf of the battalion congratulated Dr Aidoo on his appointment as the Deputy Minister. He told him that the Ashanti Region was relatively calm, until the recent surge in armed robbery but said the situation has been brought under control with the arrest of some of the robbers.

Source: Joy FM