The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) has commended the sacrifice and commitment of the people and Government of Ghana towards global peace and security for the past six decades.
The Special Representative of the Secretary General of the MONUSCO, Ms Leila Zerrougui, gave the commendation during the UN Medals Presentation Ceremony organised to honour troops from Ghana serving with the Mission at the Battalion Headquarters in Kinshasa.
Ms Zerrougui presented Peace Medals 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.
Paying tribute, particularly to Ghana, Ms Zerrougui said: “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 the then Congo (now DRC) for the first UN peace operations in Africa.”
She 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 related to investigating and verifying possible human rights violations before, during and after the general election in the areas concerned.
Ms Zerrougui commended 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 and in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
She 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 to support 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 communities towards the UN Peace Mission.
She also lauded 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.
The Ceremony was graced by Ghana’s Ambassador to the DRC, Mr 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.
Envoys of Switzerland, United Kingdom, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, La Cote d'Ivore and Tanzania were present.
The Ghanaian Community in Kinshasa and friends of GHANBATT were also in attendance.