The United Nations have awarded medals to personnel of the Ghanaian Battalion serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), GHANBATT 88, in recognition for their service in bringing peace to southern Lebanon.
The award parade washeld on Friday 20 May 2022 at UNP 5-66, Al Qawzah Lebanon.
With over 50 years in peace keeping, Ghana continues to contribute troops to the United Nations. Ghanaian men and women have served as United Nations peacekeepers since the early 1970s, participating in operations that stretched from the Sinai to the African continent. The West African Nations is now among the top 10 contributors to UN peacekeeping, with nearly 3,000 personnel serving on eight missions.
The Deputy Force Commander (DFC), Brig Gen Irvine Nii-Ayitey Aryeetey who spoke on behalf of the Head of Mission and the Force Commander (HoM/FC), Maj Gen Aroldo Lazaro Saenz commended GHANBATT for their stellar performance and contribution to the cause of peace in Lebanon.
Maj Gen Aroldo Lazaro Saenz highlighted that GHANBATT occupies a very sensitive stretch in the Mission’s Area of Operational Responsibility, particularly because that stretch of the Blue Line was noted for its hotspots.
He added that this and several other challenges notwithstanding, GHANBATT had remained resolute and professional and had executed their duties to the admiration of all.
He lauded GHANBATT for their efforts in maintaining a cordial relationship with the community through the conduct of their operational tasks, Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities and Key Leader Engagements (KLE). He also acknowledged the support and assistance GHANBATT had offered to the locals during the COVID-19 pandemic by donating personal protective equipment, hygiene and sanitary supplies, medications and office equipment.
Present at the Medal Presentation Parade were Ghana’s Ambassador to Egypt His Exellency Lt Gen Obed Boamah Akwa (Rtd), Ghana’s Honorary Consul General to Lebanon, His Exellency Ali Samih Jafaar, Sector West Commander, Brig Gen Massimiliano Stecca and members of the Ghanaian Community in Lebanon.
Earlier the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu led a five-member Medal Delegation to GHANBATT’s AOR between Wednesday 18 May and Saturday 21 May 2020.
The delegation paid a courtesy call on the Force Commander, Maj Gen Aroldo Lazaro Saenz and his Deputy, Brig Gen Irvine Nii-Ayitey Aryeetey. The Chief of the Naval Staff and his team also toured some GHANBATT positions along the Blueline to familiarise themselves with their operational activities.
In a durbar with troops the CNS indicated that the Government and the Military High Command were poised to provide the needed logistics for them to carry on with their duties. He advised personnel on the need to be security consciousness at all times.
The delegation members included Director General for International Peace Support Operations (DG IPSO), Brig Gen Elvis Kwesi Mends, Chief G4 Amry Headquarters, Col Fuseini Abdulai Nantogma and Master Coxswain of Ghana Navy, Master Chief Petty Officer Mishiame Komla Gilbert.