The troops upon their arrival
About 158 men out of the 208 troops that were deployed to the Gambia as part of ECOWAS Mission in the Gambia have returned safely to the country.
The Ghanaian contingent, led by Colonel Kweku Dankwa Hagan, was sent to the Gambia as part of an ECOWAS Regional Taskforce from three coalition countries a month ago.
They were mandated to uphold the sacred will of the people of the Gambia through the return and inauguration of the then president–elect, Adama Barrow.
The ECOWAS States and governments, including Ghana, recognized the need to uphold democracy and protect the people by ensuring the removal from office of former President Yaya Jammeh through legitimate military action after all attempts to force him to step down yielded no positive results.
However, 50 of the Ghanaian military personnel were left in the Gambia to assist the country’s army to provide security as a residual force.
Colonel Abraham Yeboah Nsiah, Acting Chief Of Staff Officer, Army Headquarters, who received the Ghanaian troops at the 5BN parade square on arrival at the Airport, said the participation of the Ghanaian troops changed the course of history for the greater good of West Africa and humanity, especially the Gambian people.
“The military, through the high command, recognizes the personal sacrifices officers and men of this combat team have made to ensure peace prevails in a foreign land. You responded to the call of the Army Chief at a very short notice and promptly availed yourselves for deployment. You are therefore commended for demonstrating that you can be counted upon in the face of adversity,” he stated.
Col. Nsiah said the Military High Command was fully aware of the logistics challenges they encountered in the course of the mission, and efforts were being made to address the challenges.
He disclosed that the operation of the Ghanaian troops at Barra, one of the areas in the Gambia, ensured uninterrupted economic activities through the movement of goods, services and people.
The acting Chief Staff Officer explained that after the departure of former President Jammeh, ECOWAS decided that a drawdown was necessary.
“A force of approximately 550 strong personnel was to be reduced to 500, and Ghana was to provide 50 to this residual force.”
Explaining further, Colonel KD Hagan, the contingent commander, in an interview, said positive operational lessons had been learnt in the Gambia to improve the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
He said Ghanaians leaving in the Gambia were happy to see GAF personnel in that country to provide security.
By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey