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Opinions of Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Columnist: Rev Daniel Gyasi Ankrah

Security of Ghanaian soldiers on peacekeeping in Lebanon under threat

The security of about 870 Ghanaian Soldiers in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on peacekeeping mission is under serious threat from Hezbollah (the terrorist militia).

In a recent video circulated by FOX news, a group suspected to be part of the deadly Hezbollah militia attacked the UNIFIL convoy, setting their car on fire, without provocation.

These undeserved assaults put the lives of the soldiers on peacekeeping at risk and as a matter of urgency, the United Nations, the government of Ghana and the international Community must activate the appropriate security instruments to dissolve the Iranian-backed Hezbollah to avoid the killing of innocent Israeli citizens and destruction of property.

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was mandated to implement United Nations (UN) Resolution 1701 in 2006. The essence of Resolution 1701 was to ensure freedom of movement and access to all sites in the UNIFIL mandated area.

This requirement was specifically to prevent Hezbollah from carrying out military incursions into Israel territory as well as Southern Lebanon.

But, since Hezbollah espouses an ideology with the sole objective of the annihilation of Israel from the face of the earth, for which it is actively supported by Iran, the group has repeatedly violated the UN resolution.

The nearly 870 soldiers in UNIFIL serving in Lebanon whose lives may be jeopardized by the recent reported activities of Hezbollah in the region cannot be left hanging.

Clearly, the recent attack by Hezbollah militia on a UN convoy for no apparent reason or provocation is a grave sign that not only the soldiers are in danger but innocent citizens as well.

Call to action

It’s in the interest of the international community to ensure that these attacks are checked to avoid it escalating to alarming propensity.

The UN Security Council in particular, must act decisively by reviewing the mandate of UNIFIL to give the force sufficient powers to search of areas within their operational zone to prevent regular incursions into the territory of Israel by Hezbollah forces.

Also, Ghana as a nation should not look on unconcerned for any nation or power to annihilate Israel or the Jews. In much the same way, we would also support any nation, be it Islamic/Muslim or otherwise from any form of unjustified threat.

President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed forces must take keen interest in the security of the forces on mission and demonstrate same by backing UN resolution that will protect the lives of innocent citizens.

For far too long, we have kept mute on matters that threaten the lines of our citizens, only to begin sharing crocodile tears after the calamity had occurred.

The President who is also a devout Christian must show concern in matters relating to the state of Israel and Christians in much the same way as Muslims do, particularly in relation to their annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.