By Stephen Asante
Accra, Nov. 21, GNA – Work on the construction of military operating bases along Ghana’s northern frontiers has reached an advanced stage of completion, says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The facilities, comprising twelve military forward operating and three logistic bases, aim to strengthen the Army’s capabilities to contain the threats emanating from across the country’s frontiers.
Ghana remains one of the most peaceful countries in sub-Saharan Africa despite the growing instability in the Region – borne out of violent extremism, terrorist attacks and military coups.
President Akufo-Addo, addressing army officials at a graduation parade of the Ghana Military Academy, in Accra, assured that the country was taking no chances in respect of securing its territorial integrity.
The military operating bases, he said, would be adequately resourced with personnel and the requisite logistics to swiftly deal with any threats that had the potential to disrupt the peace and stability of the country.
The Sahel Region is the epicentre of terrorism worldwide, says the Institute for Economics and Peace.
From January 1 to June 30, 2023, it is estimated that the Region recorded 1, 814 incidents of terrorist attacks, which resulted in 4, 593 fatalities.
The political instability has been exacerbated by the spiraling military coups, with the elected Presidents of Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger, forcibly removed from office in the last three years.
Given the prevailing security threats, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) continues to receive support, in terms of military assistance, from international bodies, including the UN and European Union (EU).
“The eminent threats in the northern part of Ghana have necessitated the establishment of forward operating and logistics bases along our entire northern border,” the President said.
In pursuance of its determination to build the capacity of the personnel, the Armed Forces had also initiated the process for the grant of a presidential charter for the establishment of a National University of Defence Studies, he noted.
“I have directed that the University be established next year,” President Nana Akufo-Addo, also the Commander-in-Chief, affirmed.
He said it would serve as a multi-disciplinary higher education institution that would educate personnel of the GAF, other security agencies, governmental departments and agencies and foreign military personnel. It will conduct scientific research in military science, defence and strategic studies, international relations and related subjects.
It is intended to serve as a model research and educational centre for the conduct of long-term research, capacity building and policy shaping in the fields of defence and security as well as current analysis and strategic studies for various state institutions.
A Senior UN official recently told the Security Council that the situation in West Africa and the Sahel had deteriorated against a backdrop of shrinking civic and political space.
The Special Representative and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos Simao, said the “crisis in the Sahel requires tangible and long-term support to stamp out the scourge of terrorism and address the Region’s burgeoning humanitarian crisis”.