28 May 2014

Ghana: Mahama Asks Military to Prepare for Terrorists

Ghana's President, John Dramani Mahama, has asked the country's Military High Command to "outline a strategy for training and preparation" in readiness to fight terrorists who might target the country.

"Terrorism is not a new phenomenon in the world, but the new dimensions that it is taking are threatening global peace," President Mahama told an army durbar on Tuesday. Dealing with the threat of terror, he said, will require "sophistication" and "training". "And so we are asking the High Command to outline a strategy for training and preparation in the event that we are confronted with any such threat," he said. In his own words, the Military High Command "will have to look at [the army's] policies and strategies, and adapt them to meet the new global threat."

His comments come at a time neighboring Nigeria continues to be hit by the terror group Boko Haram - a group seeking to impose Sharia Law in the whole of Northern Nigeria. While the Nigerian government has repeatedly said it is making efforts to free the schoolgirls, Boko Haram has continued to carry out deadly attacks in the northern part of the country. On Sunday, May 18, a major explosion ripped through a drinking centre in the northern city of Kano. A day later, police said they averted what could have been another devastating bomb blast in the ancient city. On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at least, 76 persons were killed in two bomb blasts in the central area of Jos, the Plateau State capital.

Late Saturday, at least three people died in another bomb blast along Bauchi Road, close to a football viewing centre by the University of Jos. Boko Haram, the group responsible for the attacks, is presently holding more than 200 Nigerian girls hostage, after seizing them last month from their school in Chibok in the restive north of Africa's most populous nation.

Early Tuesday, news reports quoted Nigeria's Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, as saying the army knew where the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram were, but would not attempt a rescue. He said it was "good news for the parents," although he admitted the military would not risk "going there with force." In the wake of the abduction of the girls, Ghana's President and ECOWAS Chairman, John Dramani Mahama, pledged to work with other heads of state in West Africa to help fight and end Boko Haram's reign of terror in Nigeria.

On Thursday, President Mahama told Ghana's army chiefs to appropriately retool the nation's military in readiness to fend off terrorists who might want to target the country. "There are new equipment and logistics that you need to have for purposes of surveillance," he told Army chiefs in Ghana's capital, Accra, adding that the military needs to acquire drones "to keep up the surveillance that is needed to keep this nation safe... "

He thanked the Ghana Armed Forces "for the loyalty and support that you continue to give [the] government." The government, he said, is committed to "your welfare, and to providing you with what you need to be able to execute your mandate... "

Credit: citifmonline.com

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