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Armed Forces allays 'opposition' fears over elite forces


The Public Affairs Director of the Ghana Army, Col. Atintande Mbawine, has allayed the fears of some leaders of the opposition New Patriotic Party over the formation of what they say are special forces within the Ghana Armed Forces. The NPP has called on the government to clarify why special forces continue to exist within the Ghana Armed Forces after they were proscribed by the 1992 Constitution. Apart from the regular Officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force who participated in the 55th Independence Day parade, a team of special forces from the same units were included in the march. The New Patriotic Party had explained it is difficult to comprehend why they may have been created. Mustapha Hamid, spokesperson for NPP’s flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo expressed fears the creation of the elite forces, especially in an election year, betrays bad intentions by the government. “That is an anomaly; why do we have to have a normal army contingent, a normal navy contingent, a normal air force contingent and then within the air force we have a special force…, I think that that requires some explanation from the Ghana Army, or from the Chief of Defence Staff or from the Ministry of Defence…,” he said. Mr Hamid believes that the creation of special forces in the army “creates confusion and division and dissent within our regular forces,” arguing that there ought to be an ill motive to create such a force in an election year. “What role will those special forces be playing that our regular forces cannot play? So, therefore, you have cause to feel that there is sinister motive.”


No Fears


Col. Atintande Mbawine however says there is no such ill motive. He admitted the special forces unit was created two or three years ago but maintained it was in response to new challenges facing the country – the oil discovery being one. Col. Mbawine said the show of force was meant to assure Ghanaians they were safe and that the army was capable of adequately protecting them. It was also intended to send a message to the world that the Ghana army was equipped to deal decisively with any external aggression. He assured the special forces had no intention of intimidating anybody. ]]>

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