Ghana, Ivory Coast deepen military ties

The Armed Forces of La Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana have been called upon to deepen their relations and continue to work towards maintaining good neighbourliness and cordiality.

Lieutenant General Peter Augustine Blay, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), who made the call said Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have a long history of cordial relations and expressed the hope that they would be able to overcome their challenges so that their armed forces could contribute towards economic development.

A statement issued by the Ghana Armed Forces Public Relations Directorate said Gen Blay was speaking during a courtesy call on Major Gen Soumaila Bakayoko, CDS of the Ivorian Armed Forces, the Forces Republican de Cote d’Ivoire (FRCI).

Gen Blay was leading a seven-man Ghana Government delegation to La Cote d’Ivoire to witness the medals presentation ceremony of the Ghana contingent.

He commended Gen Bakayoko, his commanders and the rank and file of the FRCI for the great job that they had been doing and continued to do in collaboration with the UN Peacekeeping Operation (ONUCI) and other international organisations to bring lasting peace and tranquility to Cote d’Ivoire and the sub-region.

Gen Blay through their efforts “our sub-region can have the peace and stability to develop economically and give joy to our people”.

“Watching from Ghana,” Gen Blay continued, “We think that you are making very good progress. As members of ONUCI and a sisterly neighbouring country, we want to assure you that Ghana would remain committed to the efforts by ONUCI and the internal community as a whole and to help bring up this country.”

On improving relations between the two armed forces, Gen Blay referred to the current arrangement whereby Ghana had opened its training institutions at higher levels and in particular the Ghana Armed Forces Staff College and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre to personnel of the FRCI.

Gen Blay therefore, advocated extending this cooperation to the lower levels where it might be possible for junior offices and non-commissioned officers at the junior level to attend exchange courses.

Gen Bakayoko, commended Gen Blay, GAF and Ghana as a whole for the commendable support they provided the FRCI when he took over as CDS and for helping to resolve the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire.

He expressed appreciation to the Ghanaian contingent in Bouake for helping the Ivorian army as well the civilian population in that region.

The Ghanaian Aviation Unit, he said, many times provided opportunity for the northern troops to communicate with the south and the medical unit provided invaluable humanitarian assistance to both troops and the civilian population.

Gen Bakayoko was also appreciative of the special protection provided the Ivorian President Allassan Ouatarra during the electoral crisis period as well as the role Ghana in particular played in the entire electoral process so that La Cote d’Ivoire could have peace and tranquility to hold elections.

He assured Gen Blay that the relations between their two countries and armed forces would grow from strength to strength and pledged to see both Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the future joining the developed world.

Source: GNA

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