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70 UK armoured vehicles to support security in Northern Ghana

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
UK Minister Vicky Ford arrives in Accra to announce new UK-Ghana defence deal
UK Minister Vicky Ford arrives in Accra to announce new UK-Ghana defence deal. Ms Ford signing a document alongside Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB

The United Kingdom (UK) is supporting Ghana with 70 Husky armoured vehicles for security operations in the northern parts of Ghana.

The UK Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford has arrived in Ghana to announce the new UK-Ghana defence deal.

The Husky is a medium-armoured high-mobility tactical support vehicle.

'See something, Say something'

Ghana has launched a public campaign on terrorism alertness dubbed, "See something, say something" as part of efforts to help deal with the terrorists threat in the West African sub-region.

Within the first quarter of 2022, the African continent has experienced about 346 terrorists attacks in various countries.

Out of these, 49 per cent of them have occurred in the West African sub-region.

This clearly indicates that the sub-region has become a hotbed for terrorism.

It is following this that the public campaign has been launched in Ghana for any person who notices anything unusual about the security situation, to inform the various agencies by dialing 999 (toll free) or use any of the security agencies phone numbers or social media handles.

For those who don't want to be identified for fear of being labelled as snitchers, the complaints can be lodged anonymously too, the security agencies have announced. You can as well report to assembly members, District Chief Executives, chiefs, opinion leaders, presiding members and community leaders.

Terrorists recently killed 10 soldiers in neighbouring Togo on May 11, 2022.

About 15 assailants were killed during the “terrorist” attack last week in the north of Togo that also killed the 10 soldiers.

UK support

This is why the UK is supporting Ghana with the 70 Husky armoured vehicles for security operations in the northern parts of Ghana and the UK Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford is in town to announce the new UK-Ghana defence deal.

A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra on Wednesday (May 25, 2022) said it is the UK Minister’s second visit to Ghana in 2022 following the success of the first UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC) held in-person since 2019.

The Council was held in the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in the heart of London with the senior Government of Ghana delegation led by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen.

Arriving in Ghana for the second time in 2022, Minister Ford’s visit signals the importance the UK places on the deep and broad bilateral partnership.

With almost a billion dollars’ worth of trade between Ghana and the UK, the British Government is committed to growing this by the end of 2024, the statement added.

Following her arrival at Kotoka International Airport, Minister Vicky Ford said:

“It is fantastic to be back in Ghana, to continue the conversations, decisions and opportunities discussed both at UK-Ghana Business Council and during my visit in February. It’s also been fantastic to meet colleagues from the African Development Bank in-person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I am proud to use my visit to announce a successful deal between our nations that will see 70 armoured Husky vehicles deployed to Northern Ghana to ensure the safety of vulnerable communities.”

During her visit, the UK Minister for Africa will attend the African Development Bank’s meeting of Governors where Minister Ford is expected to sign a climate finance deal worth up to $2 billion. Announced at COP26, at least half of the ‘Room to Run’ guarantee will unlock support for countries across the Continent to manage the impacts of climate change. The signing honours the global commitments made at COP26 by leaders from around the world including His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Welcoming Minister Ford to Accra for the second time in 2022, British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson said: “Ghana is a beacon of security, stability and democracy in a troubled region. Its role in ECOWAS and membership of the UN Security Council means that Ghana has a vital role in safeguarding democratic principles and defending freedoms across West Africa and beyond. We strongly support Ghana’s leadership in this.

Our partnership in recent times includes the fight against the impact of climate change and, of course, global health security. Minister Ford’s return to Ghana will reinforce this partnership through the signing of a climate finance deal, to ensure the safety of vulnerable communities.”

Minister Ford will pay tribute to the enduring UK-Ghana security and defence partnership, announcing the completion of a deal between our nations that will see 70 armoured Husky vehicles arrive in Ghana. These vehicles will be used to bolster security along the country’s Northern border, protecting communities from the threat of extremists inciting violence across the border.

Linked to the deal, worth more than $10 million, the UK armed forces will provide training for Ghanaian troops, including training of Ghanaian instructors to teach the operation and daily maintenance of the vehicles.

Minister Ford last visited Ghana in February 2022 as Russia unlawfully invaded Ukraine. During this visit the Minister met with Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Botchwey and held meetings with like-minded partners in Accra including Ambassadors from the American Embassy, the French Embassy, and Kenya High Commissioner to Ghana, Eliphas Barine and former United Nations General Assembly Chef de Cabinet, Kwabena Osei-Danquah.

During her previous trip, the Minister also visited the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), based at the University of Ghana. Now, with vital UK-backing, the centre is supporting the country and the region on COVID-19 genome sequencing. Minister Ford also met with the scientists working on antimalarial drug resistance and new malaria vaccines in partnership with UK research institutions including Edinburgh University, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Francis Crick Institute.

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