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This is what the armed forces are doing internationally

Peace keeping in Both African and other war torn countries.

Locally too they provide security across our boarders, and prevent piracy, drug lords and other criminals from using our coast through the navy. They stopped the conflicts in the north and provide rescue operations during disasters.

Read more on the armed forces below
Ghana's peacekeepers: the men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces. Ordinary husbands, wives, mothers, fathers- who have done extraordinary things. For four decades, they have taken up their positions on the thin blue line between war and peace, amidst genocide and civil war, and have nobly acquitted themselves with extraordinary valour, professionalism, and human compassion.

More than 80,000 of them have rated in 31 United Nations and subregional peacekeeping missions- from the Congo, Rwanda, Namibia, Mozambique, Liberia and Sierra Leone, to the Middle East the Balkans, and Cambodia. More than 100 Sodiers have sacrifice their lives.

Since their first participation in the UN Operation in the Congo (ONUC) in the early 1960s to today's mission in Lebanon, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana's peacekeepers have stood ever ready to risk life and limb in many of the world's most dangerous conflict zones to further the goals of the United Nations and the cause of world peace. Leaving their families behind and placing themselves only under God's care, these brave individuals have stood in defence of freedom and justice around the world, leaving their mark in the hearts and minds of millions who have been caught up in the murderous mayhem of conflict.

Since 1948, many countries have served the United Nations in its quest for global peace and security by contributing their soldiers and police to peacekeeping. But few can boast of Ghana's consistent and steadfast willingness to answer the UN call. They have placed themselves in harm way time and again- as they stood between opposing armies, or amongst rebel forces who showed no respect for the sacrifices these courageous men and women have made.

To war victims around the globe, Ghana's peacekeepers have many forces: as military patrols, civilian police officers, electoral observers, de-miners, ceasefire monitors humanitarian aid workers and even fighting forces against rebel armies.

Ghana's peacekeepers have provided a human touch in the midst of misery and depravity- by demonstrating respect, understanding and empathy in situations where those qualities are in short supply. Indeed, there is something unique about the Ghanaian soldiers that has transformed the character of peace mission and inspired universal respect and admiration.

Peacekeeping in an age of ethnic cleansing and brutal civil war is not a tidy affair. The mandates of the mission are often blurry or inadequate, the parties to the conflict are no longer renowned government, but rather rebels or militias, and contributing countries are often overstretched and under- resourced in terms of funding, logistics and supplies.

Bearing these obstacles in mind, it is perhaps all the more remarkable that Ghana continues to show such dedication and commitment to peacekeeping, even at the subregional level, where the financial burden is all the more onerous. From whence springs this commitment?

Many believe it sprang from the era of Ghana's independence in 1957 and the inspiring Pan-African ideals of the late President Kwame Nkrumah. A giant of the African liberation struggle, President Nkrumah was quick to respond to the call of the United Nations when it launched its first African peacekeeping mission in the Congo in the early 1960s. This experience set the precedent for Ghana's participation in the many missions that were to follow.

But some would say that this commitment has much longer roots, embedded in Ghana's military history. The Gold Coast Regiment (GCR)- part of the West African Frontier Force and the precursor of the modern Ghana Armed Forces- fought in German Togoland, the Cameroons, and East Africa during World War I in defence of the British Empire. Again, in World War II, the GCR fought on the side of Allies in West and East, Africa and the Far East. In the Ghana Armed Forces thus resides a deep tradition of internationalism and intervention aimed at peace and stability.

For 40 years, the United Nations has relled on the professionalism and dedication of the Ghana Armed Forces and Police to provide a strong backbone to its peacekeeping missions around the world. Ghana has not hesitated to answer the UN call.
To Ghana's courageous men and women who have served the cause of world peace, a mere thank you is not enough. By telling some of your stories in this volume, it is hoped that you will share a small measure of the enormous gratitude, pride and respect which the United Nations, and millions of people around the world, have for you. A heartfelt ayekoo!

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