Ghana commissions nearly 200 military vehicles

11848

Ghana’s military has commissioned into service 175 military vehicles, for internal security as well as peacekeeping use.

Ghana’s president and commander-in-chief Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo presented the vehicles to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in the capital Accra on 1 February.

The vehicles include 70 Kamaz trucks, 20 BTR-70 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), 20 Navistar Defence Husky tactical support vehicles (TSVs), and 65 Toyota utility vehicles. In May 2022 it was reported that the United Kingdom would send 70 Husky vehicles to Ghana.

Akufo-Addo recalled that he attended similar handovers in December 2019 and March 2021, and promised that more vehicles were coming for the Ghana Armed Forces. He said the new equipment will help the country contain security threats, including terrorism, along Ghana’s northern borders, ensure internal security (including against illegal gold miners), and support Ghana’s external peacekeeping operations.

Indeed, many of the vehicles handed over on 1 February were pained in United Nations colours and officials said some of these would be used by UN forces in Sudan with the UNISFA mission. Ghanaian men and women have served as United Nations peacekeepers since the early 1970s, participating in operations that stretched from the Sinai to the African continent. The West African Nations is now among the top 10 contributors to UN peacekeeping, with 2 800 personnel serving on more than half a dozen missions.

Ghanaian BTR-70s that will be used for UN peacekeeping operations.

“As President of the Republic, I am fully aware that our economic development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace and security,” Akufo-Addo said. He added that in light of the deteriorating security situation to the north, 15 forward operating bases have been built or upgraded and units created or expanded, such as 10 & 11 Mechanized Battalions, 154, 155 Armoured Regiments and supporting logistics units.

Chief of the Defence Staff Vice Admiral Seth Amoama said some of the vehicles would be deployed to ensure security along Ghana’s northern border, and for Operation Gongong in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

In addition to the vehicles, communications equipment was also handed over and this will be used on border security taskings as well as United Nations peacekeeping operations. These included numerous Barrett radios.

The Ghana Peace Journal reported that OMNI Bank and CAL Bank assisted with financing for the vehicles. UK-based Excel Design and Integration company will supply logistics support.

The previous vehicle handovers to the Ghana Armed Forces included 40 Otokar Cobra II APCs in March 2021, and in December 2019, 33 Otokar Cobra I and IIs, 41 Toyotas, and various utility vehicles. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Ghana received a first batch of 30 Cobra I and II vehicles in 2018-2019. In 2021 11 Guarani APCs were supplied via an Israeli company, according to SIPRI data.

The new deliveries join Ghana’s dozens of Ratel 20/90, Piranha, WZ-525/Type-05P, Typhoon, Maverick and Tactica armoured personnel carriers.