The Government of Ghana has been commended by the United Nations (UN) for its sacrifice and commitment towards global peace and security.
This praise comes after the government’s dedication in the deployment of soldiers to help promote peace in other for over six decades.
In a UN medals ceremony organised to honour troops from Ghana serving with the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) at the Battalion Headquarters in Kinshasa, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for MONUSCO, Ms. Leila Zerrougui, made the commendation on behalf of the UN.
Paying tribute to Ghana, Ms. Zerrougui emphasised, “Ghana has never turned her back to the United Nations for the contribution of troops to participate in Peace Operations since the 1960s, when the first UN peacekeepers from Ghana were deployed in then Congo (now DRC) for the first UN peace operations in Africa.”
Ms. Zerrougui presented Peace Medals on behalf of the UN Secretary-General to Officers, Men and Women of the Ghana Battalion at a colourful ceremony attended by the Diplomatic Corps, Senior Staff of MONUSCO and representatives of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Battalion is under the Command of Lieutenant Colonel Bernard Baba Pantoah.
Special mention was made during the ceremony on the contribution and sacrifices made by troops of Ghana Contingents provided for the security and peace in the DRC over the years under MONUSCO.
The event was graced by Ghana’s Ambassador to the DRC, His Excellency Joseph Kwaku Antwi; the MONUSCO Police Commissioner, General Awale Cheik Abdounasir; the Deputy Force Commander, Major General Bernard Commins and Commander Western Sector and Contingent Commander of Ghana, Brigadier General Emmanuel Kotia.
Ambassadors of Switzerland, United Kingdom, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, La Cote d’Ivoire and Tanzania were present. The Ghanaian community in Kinshasa and friends of GHANBATT were also in attendance.
The SRSG also commended the Ghana Battalion for establishing Standing Combat Deployments in Kitwit (Kwilu Province) and Yumbi (Mai-Ndombe Province) during the electoral period to ensure UN Human Rights Assessment Teams carried out critical tasks.
These tasks related to investigating and verifying possible human rights violations before, during and after the general elections in the areas concerned.
The SRSG also applauded the Ghana Battalion for the successful execution of their mandate over the one-year period deployed within the Western Sector of MONUSCO.
She reiterated that the Ghana Battalion was the first Unit to establish a Female Engagement Team (FET) within their Area of Operations as prescribed by the MONUSCO mandate and in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
Ms. Zerrougui acknowledged the deployment of Female Soldiers by Ghana in combat roles for Long-Range Patrols and also for engaging in critical Civil-Military Cooperation activities with the purpose of supporting the local people.
The inclusion of female troops for operational activities has facilitated better interactions and boosted the confidence of the local population especially Women and Children in the rural communes towards the UN peace mission, she explained.
The efforts of the Ghanaian Contingent to cement a friendly relationship with the local security agencies in their Area of Responsibility, pursuant to MONUSCO’s collaborative efforts with the various security services in the DRC was also lauded.
GHANBATT through the professionalism of the troops and deep appreciation of the conflict situation in the DRC, assisted to successfully oversee the general elections of the DRC, thus fulfilling an important aspect of the MONUSCO mandate under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2409 (2018).