By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Bundase
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has inducted Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Robert Sagoe into office as the Commanding Officer (CO) of the peacekeeping taskforce, who would take over Ghana Battalion (GHANBATT) duties, at the United Nations Mission In South Sudan (UNMISS), as GHANBATT 8.
The Religious and Induction Service, held at the Bundase Training Camp on Sunday, 1st December, 2019, was part of a five-week pre-operation (Pre Ops) training exercises from 17th November, 2019, for the GHANBATT, who are expected to takeover duties from GHANBATT 7, by 31st March 2020.
The about 700 strong battalion (including 52 Officers), were joined in the religious service by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) Ghana Engineer Company (GHANENCOY 8) and ECOWAS Mission In The Gambia (ECOMIG) teams, who are also on similar missions at the training camp.
In a sermon, the Guest Speaker – Reverend Major Ephraim (Rtd), surmised that good leadership entails selflessness, ownership, being in touch with follower-ship, focused, not sacrificing tomorrow’s well-being for today’s gratification, guiding soldiers in good expenditure and the moral courage to crack the whip of correction.
The CO, who led the praises and worship by himself, in remarks after his induction, espoused the virtues of consistency in good courses, as he stated that his love for music had long stayed with him, since his days as 2nd Lieutenant at the Michel Camp Garrison Methodist Presbyterian Church as a choir leader, when the Guest Speaker was in active service.
Lt Col Sagoe promised to build and deliver an exemplary battalion before and at the mission ahead and solicited the support of his officers, men and women of the taskforce.
For training, so far, besides the Basic Fitness Test organized, the battalion has undergone tutorship in Conflict Management for Peacekeepers, and a week’s course, organized by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), in cooperation with the Department of State Global Peace Initiative (GPOI), focused on strengthening peacekeepers capacity to protect civilians, through the non-violent resolution of conflicts.
There also was the Akwaaba Night, organized on Friday, 29th November, 2019, for troops to have fun and interact, and an Inter-company Cheer Cultural display competition organized, of which the Headquarters Company (HQ Coy) were adjudged winners.
As part of exercising its Civilian-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) capabilities – which is a function in the UNMISS mandate, the Battalion will join hands with the Ningo-Prampram District Assembly, in a clean-up exercise and a medical screening outreach, on Friday, 6th December, 2019.