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    Ghana’s defence minister urges collective efforts to tackle Ebola menace

    APA – Lagos (Nigeria)

    Ghana’s Minister of Defence, Dr. Benjamin Kubuor, has described the Ebola menace in West Africa as “a very worrying situation that requires the collective efforts of all.”

    Speaking at the opening of the 34th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS), which opened in Accra, Ghana on Tuesday, Kubuor said: “It is for the this reason that the Chair of ECOWAS and Ghanaian President Mr. John Dramani Mahama, has made Accra, Ghana the distribution point for the supply of Ebola support in the sub-region.” “It is for you service chiefs to also use this forum to discuss how you can assist the civilian population to strategize towards stemming the spread of this virus,” a statement by the ECOWAS Commission on Wednesday in Abuja quoted the minister as saying. The minister expressed profound appreciation to the World Health Organization and other partners for their support in the handling of the Ebola epidemic. The statement added that the out-going CCDS Chairman, General Soumaila Bakayoko of Cote d’Ivoire, who handed the mantle of CCDS leadership to Admiral Matthew Quashie of Ghana, thanked the regional heads of state and government, the ECOWAS Commission, development partners including the UN, African Union, EU, France, the US, and his peers for their support during his tenure. Gen. Bakayoko explained that in tackling the region’s security challenges in the last two years, including the crises in Mali and Guinea Bissau, the CCDS held a total of 14 extra-ordinary and two ordinary sessions. According to him, the key lessons of his mandate included leveraging the importance of an active and effective CCDS, respect for the sovereignty of member states and their peoples and the centrality of solidarity among the member states. He cited Boko Haram and the Ebola epidemic among the threats still facing the region that require the intervention of the CCDS acting in collaboration with other segments of the society to achieve a peaceful and stable environment for regional integration and development. Characterising the Ebola scourge “as a worrying security threat in the region,” the incoming chair of the CCDS, Admiral Quashie said “we will also not lose sight of the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)” and the Boko Haram disturbances.” He also said the issue of piracy along the region’s coast lines “requires effective collaboration and management by all stakeholders.”


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