AN EXAMINATION OF THE IMPACT OF UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS ON THE GHANA ARMED FORCES
Ghana, and for that matter, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has contributed significantly to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKOs) since 1960. This has enabled Ghana to gain the international status as one of the largest African contributors to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Several studies have been conducted in recent times; such as Aubyn and Aning, (2015), Aboagye (1999), Addae (2005) and Atintande (2012) with regards to how UN PKOs have impacted on Ghana as a country. However, there is a dearth of exploration on the impact of these Operations on the Ghana Armed Forces as an institution. Therefore, this study focused on examining the impact of UN PKOs on personnel of GAF and the GAF as an institution. The study was purely qualitative and relied primarily on both secondary and primary sources of data. Data collected was analyzed using content analysis. The main findings of the study were that, the UN PKOs have both negative and positive impacts on personnel of the GAF and the GAF as an institution. On one hand, UN PKOs have some positive benefits on GAF such as economic benefits, capacity-building and development of both personnel and GAF as an institution, good global image for the GAF and its personnel, providing professional training programmes in peacekeeping and global security issues and finally contributed to the stability of Ghana. On the other hand, the negative impacts of UN PKOs include exposure of personnel to health threats, fatalities and casualties, brain drain amongst troops of the GAF, extra burden on military personnel of GAF in terms of responsibilities and moral decadence on the part of some military personnel. Based on the findings of the study, it is concluded that, UN Peacekeeping Operations have significant impact on the personnel and the GAF as an institution. Towards this end, the study recommends the need to build capacity with national and international stakeholders in order to develop innovative responses towards the improvement and addressing of contemporary challenges facing TCC in the changing pattern of UN peacekeeping operations.