Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, Military Advisor to the United Nation Secretary General, on Tuesday paid a courtesy call on the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Lt. Gen. Peter Augustine Blay.
Lt. Gaye was taken through the historical background of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), participation in external peace support operations, dating back to the 1960’s.
These were contained in a statement signed by Lt, Colonel E Aggrey- Quashie, copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Friday.
It indicated that Commodore G.M Biekro, Chief of Staff at the GAF General Headquarters, said GAF had so far participated in 17 peace support operations in Africa and 12 outside the continent.
The statement said “the CDS highlighted on issues concerning pre-operational training and logistical constraints at the various peacekeeping missions.”
It said that Brigadier Gen. D.K Mishio, Director General, Joint Operations at the General Headquarters, elaborated on the status of Ivorian refugees at the various refugee camps in the country.
It said further disclosed that currently Ghana housed 15,224 refugees from La Cote d’Ivoire whose welfare and security concerns were under the care of the security services and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
The statement indicated that Brig. Gen. Mishio said the security services had conducted thorough screening and had succeeded in segregating civilians from ex-combatants and proposed consideration of an upward adjustment of the daily per diem currently being paid to troops on peacekeeping. to boost their morale.
It said Lt. Gaye denied media reports on the alleged regrouping and training of ex-combatants from Cote d’Ivoire in Ghana and said the reports were “Untrue and misleading”.
The statement said Ghana was committed to the democratic dispensation in La Cote d’Ivoire and would not do anything to disrupt peace and security in that country.
It said the CDS have the hint that security services had deployed troops along the Ghana La Cote d’ Ivoire border, to prevent cross-border activities of combatants.
The statement said as part of the security measures, plans were advanced to re-locate refugee camps to the border for effective security surveillance and monitoring.
It said Lt. Gaye appealed to Lt Gen Gaye to impress upon those in-charges of peacekeeping deployment to ensure that well trained officers were nominated for effective information gathering and collation, which was observed as the hallmark of every successful peace support operation.
The statement said concerning the gradual and final withdrawal of peacekeeping troops from La Cote d’ Ivoire and Liberia, Lt. Gen. Gaye assured the CDS that Ghana would be considered as one of the last countries to leave the mission area.
It said Lt. Gen. Gaye noted that Ghanaians troops were familiar with the sub regional environment, and had acquired rich experience over the years at different peacekeeping mission in and outside Africa.
The statement said Lt. Gen. Gaye has left Ghana for La Cote d’ Ivoire to interact with top UN officials on issues confronting the UN Operations in Cote d’ Ivoire.