Friday, September 19, 2014

ECOWAS Chiefs of Intelligence and Security Services Meet

14 May 2014. The Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) member states chiefs of intelligence and security services have met at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) Teshie, on Wednesday, 14 May, 2014 to discuss issues pertaining to the rampant crime and terrorist attacks in the sub Region.

The Commissioner of ECOWAS political affairs, peace and security, Mrs Salamatu Alhassan Sulemana, expressed gratitude on behalf of the ECOWAS president for their presence and commitment despite their busy schedules.

In her key note address, Mrs Alhassan stated the challenges of terrorist attacks in law enforcement countries with emphases on abduction of over 200 girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram.  This, she said showed how endangered the continent was becoming.

Mrs Alhassan reminded all that in February 2013, the heads of states stood against terrorism and the three (3) main pillars made by ECOWAS were basically prevention, constraint and reconstruction to curb this menace.  It also sought to promote security and the living standards of people whereby this can be achieved in an environment of peace and stability.

Today, she noted that Nigeria was facing terrorist attack, tomorrow it might be another country within the continent.

Mrs Alhassan said she hoped the outcome of the meeting would bring recommendation on how to curb these problems and lead against the act.

She seized the opportunity to thank Ghana and KAIPTC for hosting the meeting.

Countries that attended included Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’lvoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, France, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, USA and UK.

Also present at the meeting were the National Security Advisor, Mr William Aboah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Madam Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Interior, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Alhassan.

Ghana Army Wins 2014 ECOWAS Zone III Volleyball Championship

13 May 2014. The Ghana Army Volleyball Team has presented a trophy they won in the 2014edition of the Six-Nation ECOWAS Zone III volleyball championship Tournament to the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Maj Gen Richard Opoku-Adusei in a short ceremony at Burma Camp on 13 May 2014.

The Ghana Army Volleyball Team emerged as the overall best winners in the Competition held in Lome, in the Republic of Togo from 28 April to 4 May 2014. The team participated in the Club Championship Competition along side, Burkina Faso, Niger, Republic of Togo and Benin. By dint of hard work and determination, Ghana emerged first and won the overall best trophy, the first of its kind in the annals of the Ghana National Volleyball Association.

In a citation read on behalf of the Chief of the Army Staff said the Ghana Army will remain thankful to the players for winning the first kind of trophy not only for the Ghana Armed Forces but Ghana as a whole. He said the victory they amply achieved demonstrated selflessness, discipline, hard training and commitment. He urged the Army Volleyball Team to use sports to advertise Ghana to the rest of the world. The COAS pledged the Army’s unflinching support for the team to ensure players prepare adequately to compete in the next African Volleyball Tournament scheduled to take place in Algeria later this year.

Mr Paul Atchoe, President of the Ghana Volleyball Association described the victory as the first time a Ghanaian volleyball team has beaten a well trained and motivated side in Africa. He thanked the Ghana Army for honoring the National Sports Council’s request for sportsmen and women to form a formidable Volleyball Team called the Ghana Army Volleyball Club to participate in national and international events.

To establish a team to represent Ghana in this year’s Zone III Club Championship in Lome, Togo, a play-off competition was organised on the 22 and 23 March 2014, at the Accra Sports Stadium in which the Ghana Army won. Having emerged winners of the play-off competition which involved other security agencies and sister services of the Armed Forces, the Army team qualified to represent Ghana in the 2014 version of the Africa Zone III Volleyball Club Championship.

Present at the ceremony were the Director General (Defence Intelligence) Brig Gen Ayamdo, Director General (Training) Cdre PK Faidoo, General Officer Commanding Southern Command Brig Gen Sampson Adeti, Commander Support Services Brigade Group Brig Gen Musah Whajah and Directors of the Army Headquarters.

48 Engineers Wins Exercise Tarantula 2014

13-15 May 2014. The 48 Engineer Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces has won the just ended navigation exercise code named Exercise Tarantula.

The three days exercise which was the first of its kind was organised by the Southern Command and hosted by the 66Artillery Regiment at Ho from 13 to 15 May, 2014.

The Navigation Exercise which started from Kpetoe through Takla to Ho general area was climaxed with fallen plate shooting competition at 66 Artillery Gallery Range.

Brig Gen Sampson Kudjo Adeti, the General Officer Commanding Southern Command said, the objectives of the three (3) days exercise was to test the physical fitness and endurance of a cross-section of units personnel, test participating troops both day and night.  Also the ability to endure long distance heavy laden marching and maintain a capacity to shoot without missing target under realistic battle situation among others.

He added that the important component of effectiveness of every service personnel is fitness.  Present at the ceremony were the Volta Regional Deputy Minster Hon Francis Ganyaglo, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Volta Region, ACP David Ampah Bennin, Senior officers of the Regiment and the Regimental Sergeant Major of 48 Engineers SWO Hugh-Tay-Edem.

ECOWAS-Military Collaboration in the Fight against Malaria in West Africa

13 May 2014. The opening ceremony of the week long programme of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Malaria elimination campaign was held at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre (KAIPTC) on 13 May, 2014.

It is the first collaboration between ECOWAS and the military workshop since the inception of the programme four years ago aimed at eradicating malaria from West Africa.

The Chief of Defence Staff(CDS) Vice Admiral Matthew Quarshie in his address expressed delight and honour bestowed on Ghana Armed Forces in the organization and hosting of this important international workshop which seeks to tackle exclusively the major health challenges of our sub-region and other part of the world.

Vice Admiral Quashie emphasised that malaria and recently emerging Ebola pandemic flu and vector borne diseases are the major causes of death especially the aged and children as the most affected.

The CDS was however, hopeful of the eradication of malaria from the sub-Saharan region in the shortest possible time with the production of biolarvicides in Ghana, Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire in West Africa with technological support for the building of three factories in three West African countries from the Venezuelan government.

The Chief of Staff for ECOWAS standby Force, Maj Gen Hassan Lai said the objective of ECOWAS Vision 2020 adopted by the Authority of Heads of States and government is to transform ECOWAS from that of the states to its people thus, placing its citizens at the centre of regional integration, developmental process and health as priority.

According to Maj Gen Lai, malaria is the key cause of morbidity, infant mortality in West Africa.   Adding, ECOWAS region is compounded by poverty, the determining factor of the malaria epidemic.

He noted that, ECOWAS Heads of States and governments endorsed the mediation and Security Council recommending the official participation of the military in the fight against malaria in March, 2014. ‘’It is in this respect that the all important civilian-military collaboration is seen as the core of the malaria elimination campaign in ECOWAS region, ‘’ he said.

Cuban Ambassador to Ghana, Jorge Lefebre Nicolas said millions of victims die of malaria annually in Africa and efforts done to reverse this alarming situation do not permit a horizon still visible, even to allow dream of a future without malaria.

Ambassador Nicolas said West Africa in its recent times have gained in its economic achievements and has developed its capacity to fight their own battles within the continent to improve lives, sanitation and health condition of its citizen.

It is in this context that the Cuban Government is cooperating with ECOWAS in exchanging technical knowhow and human resources to help each other. The Cuban entrepreneurial group Labiofam is a pioneer in the fight against malaria with the help of authorities of this continent and institutions.

Commandant of KAIPTC Maj Gen O B Akwah, Dr Kodzo Alabo, Director of Africa and Regional Integration Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Dr Mariane Ngoulla, Health Advisor to ECOWAS President and representatives from the 15 ECOWAS countries were in attendance.

New Garrison Commander Inducted into Office

11 May 2014. The New Commanding Officer  (CO) for 3rd Battalion of Infantry (3Bn) Lt Col Edward Awaribey who double as the 3 Garrison Commander was on Sunday 11 May 2014 inducted into office at the Liberation Barracks with a memorable church service in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Regional Capital.

The Garrison Imam Issah Ibrahim in his homily based on the Koran Sura 5:35 urged all hands onboard with clean hearts and minds in helping the CO to lead the Garrison to achieve his goals. He also encouraged the new Garrison Commander to be patient in administering his office.

The sermon which was delivered by Rev Lt Clottey was on the theme “Service” based on Mark 10:35-45 and Eph 6:5-9 as he defined leadership as serving whole heartedly.

He admonished all to put their shoulders to the wheel for the Garrison to strive to higher height. This he said must be done with dedicated service.  He reminded the CO that high positions go with responsibility to God and humanity with the greatest being to treat all with respect and fairness as this leads to people willingly giving of their best in serving the Garrison, the Brong Ahafo Region, the Ghana Armed Forces and the Nation as a whole. 

The programme was climaxed with the induction of the CO into Office officially by Rev Essien who led him to swear the oath of office. He was assisted by other members of the Clergy.

Lt Col Awaribey in his address was very thankful to the military high command for the confidence reposed in him and above all to the Almighty God for the opportunity to command the Unit and the Garrison.  He acknowledged that it was an enormous responsibility yet he was optimistic that the good Lord will see him through.  He also admits that he cannot do it all by himself without the support and encouragement from all.  He therefore called for unity, devotion and selfless attitude, absolute obedience and sacrifice, hard work and duty consciousness and above all, unflinching loyalty and support from all.

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister Hon Eric Opoku (MP) who was the Guest of Honour, was represented by Hon Justice Samuel Adjei. In a speech read on his behalf, he extended his warmest felicitations to Lt Col Edward Awaribey and reminded him of their shared responsibility to maintain a peaceful, secured and stable Region for the people.

Hon Eric Opoku reminded the CO of the need to collaborate with the other Security agencies to ensure that the good people of the Region go about their businesses without any intimidation. 

Present at the occasion were some members of the Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council, the Unit Magajias, and the Mass Choir from the Churches within the Garrison, the 3Bn Unit Band as well as Soldiers and their families.

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