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Regional News of Friday, 22 May 2015

Source: GNA

Minister satisfied with troops' readiness for peace-keeping

Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, Minister of Defence, has expressed satisfaction about the readiness of the military for the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in South Sudan and Lebanon.

The Minister made the remark on Wednesday when he paid a working visit to the Michel Camp at Tema and Recce Regiment at the Burma Camp, to inspect the procured equipment ready for deployment for the peace-keeping operations.

Some of the equipment were Armoured Personnel Carrier, Toyota vehicles, a Water Tanker, Tractors, Truck Dump Large- Fords, an Ashok Leyland Sewer, Backhole Loaders, Bulldozers D6 and D7, Excavators and Water Treatment Plants.

The rest were Compactor, Motor Graders, Crane Truck, Concrete Mixers, Water Trailers and Light Towers, Compressor Trailers, a Forklift Container, Water Storage and Workshop van.

Dr Kunbour said the procurement of the equipment showed the country had exceeded the minimum requirement needed to enhance the operational and administrative efficiency of the troops.

He explained that the procurement was part of the 300-million-dollar loan facility to improve on operational competencies of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) for peace-keeping operations in Mali and Sudan.

The provision of the equipment was in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the country and the United Nations, which required that all Troops Contributing Countries to UN Peacekeeping Operations became self-sustained.

Under the UN Wet Lease System, it is the responsibility of the contingent to assume full responsibility of the maintenance of all equipment to ensure their serviceability to attract the appropriate reimbursement.

Dr Kumbour advised personnel of the Forces to take good care of the vehicles and to continue to develop an effective maintenance culture.

Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Aggrey-Quarshie, Acting Director of Public Relations, GAF said the vehicles and other heavy equipment came with servicing kits, such as grease, and filters to ensure their maintenance.

Lt-Col Aggrey-Quarshie disclosed that some of the equipment had been deployed to Liberia, Mali and Congo to enhance peace-keeping operations of Ghanaian troops, stressing that some of the equipment were awaiting clearance.