By Omar Bah
The Ghanaian troops serving with Ecomig (GHANCO 6) have been commended for their religious tolerance and support to the community of Barra and its surrounding.
For the second time running, the troops are providing food items to the Muslim community in Barra. Just like last year, the troops on Friday (Koriteh day) donated food items, prayer mats and inaugurated the community’s central mosque they help to renovate earning them admiration among residents of the Nuimi settlement especially elders who see the troops as very tolerant and discipline in their dealings with the people in the area.
The Ghanaian contingent’s second-in-command, Major Speratus Baninyeni, said the community requested for them to help by way of civil military engagement to renovate the Mosque which was in a deplorable situation.
“The mosque is a house where the Muslims observe their prayers and we deem it necessary to support them. We have been doing this for the past year. We have a very good relationship with the dwellers here,” he said.
Major Baninyeni said the Ghanaian troops shared a good relationship with the community of Barra since they arrived there eleven months ago.
“So, having fasted for a month we thought it prudent to donate those items to them. When you are out on a peacekeeping mission you should make sure that you win the hearts and minds of the people you are serving so that your work would be recognised and as far we are here we will continue to build on our civil military engagement,” he said.
The Barra Central Mosque Imam said: “Most of the ECOMIG personnel stationed here are Christians but they have been very supportive of us the Muslims. When our mosque was not fit for purpose, we reached out to them and they provided us with the necessary funds to renovate it.”
The alkalo of Barra Alhagie Faye thanked the troops for the support to his village and assured them of his continued support and partnership during their stay in the community.
“The Ghanaian troops have demonstrated a great sense of humanity since they arrived here and we are grateful. We pray that they continue to stay in the country in peace and if they return, they find their families in peace,” he said.
All the elders who spoke at the unveiling of the renovated Mosque commended the Ghanaian troops for their support in the areas of religion, cleansing exercise and provision of health care service. The elders also reminded the troops that Ghanaians are among the first settlers in Barra.