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Int’l community urged to assist W/Africa tackle security threats

The German Ambassador to Ghana, Christoph Retzlaff, has urged the international community to assist the West African Region to tackle its emerging security threats in a “fast and decisive” manner.

He said the community and affected countries should collaborate with Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) playing an integral role in the efforts, since insecurity in the region posed a threat to all.

“It is utmost important that the countries affected and the international community stand closely together and let me add that we will also have to act fast and decisively to counter these challenges,” he said.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of a peace operation course held at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra last Friday, he said support from the Centre would be beneficial.

The Ambassador’s call comes in the wake of terrorist attacks in West Africa and other security issues including kidnapping in some countries, including Ghana.

The three weeks Peace Operations Course /ECOWAS Combined Joint African Exercise was organised by the KAIPTC and the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFSC) for more than 100 participants across the continent.

Including middle level military and security officers and civilians, participants were from countries including Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Liberia Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia.

The course was aimed at equipping them with the skills and knowledge in peace operations, depend awareness of international issues and foster civil and military relations.

Mr Retzlaff noted that the nature of armed conflicts was changing and that peace support had become a multidimensional challenge required more efforts.

He said the Africa remained a key area for the German government’s crisis prevention and post-conflict and peace building measures adding that it was for this reason that Germany had support the just ended course.

“It is good to see that these courses have gone to unify African countries on a regional and continental level. A good network between all actors in peace operations and peace building is key to achieving peace in Africa” he said.

Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, the Dean of Academic affairs at GAFSC said importance of peace keeping was vital on the continent and thanked the German government for supporting the course over the years

He said the two institutions would continue to create the platform for education on peace and security in order to help make the world a better place.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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