Ghanaian Peacekeepers Get UN Peace Medal
Ghanaian Peacekeepers serving in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, (UNIFIL) have been presented with UN Peace Medals at an impressive ceremony held at the Ghanbatt headquarters, AL-QAWZAH on August 27, 2008.
The Acting Force Commander of UNIFIL, Brig Gen Apurba Kumar Bardalai in his speech at the Medals Presentation Parade commended Officers, Men and Women of Ghanbatt 68 for professionalism, dedication and commitment to duty. He Lauded Ghana’s commitment to contributing troops to most United Nations missions in search of global peace adding that Ghana’s contribution to UNIFIL is remarkable as it spans over a period of thirty years.
Brig Gen Bardalai who was also the Reviewing Officer, commended Ghanbatt 68 for its operational activities which included; day and night mechanized, motorized and foot patrols as well as random check-points. He said Ghanbatt has displayed a strong sense of commitment to UNIFIL’s mandate by deploying troops to man static positions in the sensitive area of the Mission, which includes a large section of the Blue line.
The Acting Force Commander stated that he had closely monitored Ghanbatt’s operational activities with admiration and mentioned in particular Ghanbatt’s collaboration with other contingents in the Multinational Brigade - West in the conduct of Joint Exercises. He noted with satisfaction Ghanbatt’s participation in Exercise Frozen Flight, Luppitar Fidius 1 and Western Beacon which he said, demonstrated the units operational readiness at all times.
Brig Gen Bardalai was full of praise for Ghanbatt’s humanitarian contributions to the local population which had endeared the people to Ghanbatt. He acknowledged in particular, the Medical outreach programmes organized by the unit in some towns within its Area of Operation, the promptness with which the Level 1 hospital handled emergency medical cases reported by the local population as well as the numerous humanitarian activities including Computer, English and Music lessons. The Acting Force Commander made mention of Ghanbatts’ improved cordial relationship with the Lebanese people since its deployment in UNIFIL over thirty years ago. He however, urged personnel to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of Ghanbatt’s mission by doing their utmost, in close cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces, to ensure stability in Ghanbatt’s area of operation and the successful implementation of UNIFIL mandate in South Lebanon.
The Acting Force Commander congratulated the Ghanaian peacekeepers for an impressive parade displayed and good turnout. He paid glowing tribute to Ghanaian soldiers who have paid the ultimate price in the quest for peace in Southern Lebanon.
Present to grace the august occasion was a high-powered Ghana Government Delegation led by Maj Gen Richardson Baiden, Commandant of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Brig Gen GLA Ayibonte, Military Advisor at the UN Headquarters in New York, Brig Gen A Amedoh, Director General Training GHQ, Commodore M. Tahiru, Ghana’s Defence Attaché to Egypt and Commodore GM Biekro, Chief Staff Officer at the Naval Headquarters. The rest are Col J. Kwankye, Ghanaian Contingent Commander, Col Asare, Director, International Peace Support Operation, Lt Col SK Adeti, G1 at the Military Academy and Training Schools and Capt M Mfum, ADC to the Leader of the Ghanaian delegation. Ghana’s Honourary Consul to Lebanon HE Michel Haddad was also present.
The Lebanese Government was represented by several Mayors and Muktars within Ghanbatt Area of Operation and Senior Officers of the Lebanese Armed Forces, Senior Military and Civilian Staff from UNIFIL headquarters also graced the occasion.