The Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has pinned special medals on the uniforms of the Ghanaian contingent attached to the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Accompanied by Major General Stefano Del Col, Sector West Commander of UNIFIL, and the Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Lt General Obed Boamah Akwa, Vice President Bawumia pinned the medals on the troops of GHANBATT 85 at their operational headquarters of Al-Qawzah on Thursday 22nd November, as part of the UN Medal Presentation Parade.
Vice President Bawumia’s visit of the UNIFIL Peacekeepers was the first by a Ghanaian President or Vice President, although Ghana has contributed troops to UNIFIL since 1978.
The day before, at a durbar with the officers, men and women of GHANBATT 85, Vice President Bawumia, who is also Chairman of the Armed Forces Council, reaffirmed the Nana Akufo-Addo Government’s commitment to meeting the resource needs of the Ghana Armed Forces through the provision of equipment, accommodation and training facilities.
Vice President Bawumia urged members of the contingent not to rest on their oars but continue to maintain the high standards of discipline which has earned them commendation from all stakeholders.
The 850 Officers and men of the GHANBATT 85, under the direct command of Lt Col Fiifi Deegbe, have been deployed with UNIFIL for the past 5 months, and have been engaged in promoting peace and security in the troubled Middle Eastern country, especially on its southern border with Israel.
“I congratulate the Commanding Officer, Officers, Men and Women of UNIFIL GHANBATT 85 for the impressive performance over the period. Your performance is a true reflection of the high standard of professionalism, diligence and discipline of all Ghanaian soldiers,” Vice President Bawumia stated.
“From the briefings we have been given, I am pleased to note that your effective and continuous domination of GHANBATT 85 Area of Responsibility as well as timely reaction to incidents have been highly commended by key stakeholders, notable among them, the Sector West Commander and indeed the UNIFIL Force Commander.
“Well done for the zeal and seriousness you attached to your duties at keeping the flags of Ghana and United Nations high. Special commendation to the Contingent Commander, Colonel Robert Ayi who is also the Chief Military Personnel Officer (CMPO) at the UNIFIL Headquarters for the guidance to the battalion. I urge you to display the same professionalism and commitment.
“I wish to emphasize that Ghana as a nation must give our Contingent the best support we can, in return for the sacrifices that they make on a daily basis in all international peacekeeping operations. In this regard, the Government of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will ensure that you have the resources to match your commitments,” Vice President Bawumia pledged.
As part of the three (3) day visit to Lebanon, Vice President Bawumia also called on the President of Lebanon, HE Michel Aoun; Prime Minister HE Said Hariri; and the Prime Minister, HE Nabih Berri, during which they discussed ways of enhancing mutual cooperation and the welfare of Ghanaians resident in Lebanon.