By Kofi Ampeah-Woode
Personnel of the Ghana Contingent serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have been awarded with the prestigious United Nations Peace Medal for their selfless sacrifice and immense contributions towards the peace process in the Republic of South Sudan.
The colourful Medal Presentation Parade was held on Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at the Paradise Camp, Bentiu in South Sudan.
A total number of 700 personnel of the Ghana Battalion (GHANBATT), commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel (Lt Col) Albert Sison Ogaja and other Staff Officers serving with UNMISS were decorated with medals.
The Reviewing Officer who is also the Force Commander for UNMISS, Lieutenant-General (Lt Gen) Frank Mushyo Kamanzi, in his address, commended the battalion for a good work done since it deployment into the mission.
Lt Gen Kamanzi expreesed his particular satisfactory impression by the battalion’s level of professionalism towards patrols and the Protection of Civilians (PoC) at the PoC Site and other areas in its operation.
He also expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the high number of females in the battalion which meets the 10% threshold required for military force deployment into any UN peacekeeping theatre.
The Reviewing Officer added that the Secretary-General of the United Nations has a zero tolerance policy towards Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and reminded troops to exhibit exemplary behaviours.
He further stated that as peacekeepers “we must never forget that we are here to protect and support peace and help the people of South Sudan to live in dignity”.
In attendance were Ghana’s Medal Day Delegation led by the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Major General (Maj Gen) William Azure Ayamdo, the Sector North Commander/Contingent Commander, Brigadier-General (Brig Gen) AK Dawohoso, Commanding Officers (COs) of various Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) in Bentiu and Staff Officers serving with UNMISS from other locations, as well as local government appointees.