By Kofi Ampeah-Woode
Troops of the Ghana Armed Forces’ (GAF) Ghana Independent Infantry Company (GHANCOY1) serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), have been decorated with United Nations medals for their contribution and dedication to the peace process in South Sudan.
The 150 personnel of the company, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel (Lt Col) Felix Kwaku Mautsueni were awarded the medals after passing the 3 months mandatory duration of qualified service in the mission.
UN military observers and police personnel in Aweil who had met the requirement were also decorated with peace medals.
In an address at the “Medal Day” parade, the UNMISS Sector West Commander and guest-of-honour for the ceremony, Brigadier-General (Brig-Gen) Wang Chuanjin extolled the dedication and zeal of GHANCOY1 which had seen it achieve tremendously in its tasks in the operational area.
‘Since her arrival, the company has fulfilled its assigned tasks professionally to the admiration of both military and civilian members of the UNMISS fraternity, as well as the civilian populace in Aweil State’ Brig-Gen Chuanjin said.
Brig-Gen Wang Chuanjin indicated that, GHANCOY1 had dominated its area of responsibility through robust patrols conducted day and night, manned observation posts, airport security and force protection tasks to both military and civilian members of UNMISS and humanitarian partners in the Aweil State and the Northern Bahr El Ghazal region as a whole.
He added that the hope offered by the revitalized peace agreement between the government and warring factions in South Sudan, calls for even greater efforts to maintain peace and stability in the country, therefore there must be increased engagements and support to ensure the success of the peace process.
The Sector West Commander finally congratulated the Ghanaian Contingent Commander, Brig Gen Albert Kwadwo Dawohoso, and troops of the company for earning the UN Medals and urged them not to renege on their efforts to bring lasting peace to the people of South Sudan.
The UN medal is an international decoration established in 1950 by the secretary general to be awarded to military and police forces who are, or have been in the service of the United Nations in operations such as peacekeeping, humanitarian efforts and disaster relief.
The UNMISS Sector North Commander who doubles as the Ghanaian Contingent Commander, Brig-Gen AK Dawohoso, and the Head of UNMISS Aweil Field Office, Mr Ataklti Hailu were the special guests for the occasion, together with political figures of the Aweil State and top commanders from the South Sudan Peoples Defence Forces (SSPDF), police and prison services.
According to the Press and Information Officer (PIO) of GHANCOY1 via a telephone interview, Captain Maxwell Michael Asola-Fadola, said “not only will the Medals presentation parade raise morale and bring pride to troops, but also, go down in the history as the first international Company (Ghanaian) in Aweil state to have been awarded peace medals under the umbrella of UNMISS.
“As soldiers of the Ghana Armed Forces under the Command of Lt Col Felix Kwaku Mautsueni in UNMISS Aweil, we shall continue to remain professional and raise the flag of Ghana flying high wherever duty calls”, Capt Asola-Fadola summed up.