Peacekeeping ops under review

•   Dr. Benjamin Kunbour (right), Minister of Defence, inaugurating the committee.                 Photo: Ebo Gorman

• Dr. Benjamin Kunbour (right), Minister of Defence, inaugurating the committee.
Photo: Ebo Gorman

The participation of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), in peace -keeping operations is being reviewed to ensure efficient financing of the peacekeeping missions.

Consequently, the Minister of Defence, Dr. Ben Kunbuor, yesterday inaugurated in Accra a 10-member committee to   review the operations and make recommendations to the ministry by April 1, on the best way forward.

Ghana has been involved in peace-keeping operations since 1960 to restore calm at trouble spots globally, but without any review of the operations to make it efficient in responding to such requests.

Most significantly, the committee is expected to make recommendations to resolve the “mystery” surrounding the GAF Peace Support Operations Accounts, reimbursed to Ghana by the United Nations for the country’s involvement in peacekeeping operations.

Dr. Kunbuor noted that concerns had been raised about the financing and financial obligations of the peacekeeping accounts, in the light of the migration of the UN Operations from dry lease to wet lease, in which participating countries are expected to contribute personnel and military hardware for the operations on their own.

He said the wet lease system involved “huge capital outlay and the need for value for money in the acquisition of equipment for our various theatres.”

“These concerns have come up strongly in the audit reports on the procurement, acquisition and deployment of military equipment to the various mission areas,” the defence minister said.

He added that the committee is expected to formulate policy for accepting offers to participate in new missions, equipment procurement system to meet the standards set by the UN, as well as determine the procedure for acquisition of funds from the GAF Peace Support Operations Accounts and level of authorisation.

Dr Kunbuor said the committee would also review and recommend dedicated sources of financing for Peace Support Operations, so that the country would not be found wanting in responding to peacekeeping operations.

He said, the committee was further expected to recommend the possibility of utilising part of the funds as internally generated revenue to support critical and emergency needs of the GAF.

The minister stressed on the need to continually ensure “professionalism, courage and commitment to duty which the GAF has earned over the years under the UN Flag in Africa, the Middle East, Far East and Europe, and as a participant in ECOMOG Operations in Liberia, Sierra Leone and La Cote d’Iviore.”

The Chairman of the committee, Brigadier General Kwame Oppong-Otchere (rtd), on behalf of the committee, pledged to work diligently and make recommendations for the ministry to make informed decisions on an efficient peacekeeping operations in a changing environment.

Other members of the committee are Alidu Fuseini, Chief Director of the ministry; Brig. Gen. Asamoah Kweku Yeboah, Col. Moses Gyekye Asante, both of General Headquarters and Col. Nicholas Kwame Kporku of the Army Headquarters.

The rest are Group Capt. Charles Addico of Air Force Headquarters, Henry Tachie-Menson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Emmanuel Eduma-dze Mensah, Ministry of Finance and Andrews K.K.Kufe of the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman       

 

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