By Oumie Mendy
The Ghanaian contingent serving with Ecomig (GHANCO 5) Monday commemorated their country’s 66th independence anniversary.
The ceremony attended by senior members of the Ecomig force, Ghanaian community and government officials was held in Barra, North Bank Region.
Ghana gained its independence on 6th March 1957, the first British colony in Africa to do so, following 83 years of colonial rule.
The commander of the Ghanaian contingent Lieutenant Colonel William Kobby Ackah, said: “It is a symbolic and historic day which is being celebrated by all Ghanaians across the world and the national theme for this year’s independence anniversary is; ‘Our unity; our strength; our purpose”.”
He said the theme is dedicated to the entire West Africa because “our success as a people lies in our unity”.
“Therefore, as Ghanaian peacekeepers in The Gambia, we have organised this ceremony to remind ourselves of the sacred call to duty to always ensure that our actions fortify unity, peace, security and stability.
Since the inception of Ecomig, Ghanaian troops have enjoyed excellent cooperation and working relationship with the Gambian people,” he added.
The Ecowas resident coordinator, Miatta Lilly French said Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who led the fight for Ghana’s independence played a pioneering role and inspired many countries across the continent in the struggle against colonial rule and imperialism.
“The ambition of Dr Kwame Nkrumah towards the total emancipation of Africa was articulated on the eve of the independence of Ghana when he famously stated ‘Our independence is totally meaningless until it is linked with the total liberation of Africa’. Additionally, he was also a leading figure in the quest for continental unity and peace. It was therefore not surprising when he deployed Ghanaian peacekeepers to the Congo, now the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1960 after the country was plunged into conflict,” she said.
Madam French added: “Since then, the contribution of troops to peacekeeping has for decades been a central component of Ghana’s foreign policy. Ghana is among the top 10 contributors to peacekeeping across the world and has contributed tremendously towards peace in several countries. Currently Ghana has formed troops deployed in Lebanon, South Sudan, Abyei, Guinea Bissau and The Gambia.”
She said since the inception of the Ecomig in 2017, the Ghanaian contingent has distinguished itself towards the mission and mandate of the Force.
“The current Ghanaian contingent, Ecomig (GHANCOY 6) successfully took over full operational responsibility of the North Bank area on 29 April 2022 and since then they have professionally, diligently and effectively dominated their area of responsibility for peace and security to the admiration of all,” she added.