Command has changed but the mission objectives remain the same as Ghana Battalion 5 (GHANBATT 5) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) handed over command and responsibilities successfully to GHANBATT 6 of the United Nations Mission In South Sudan (UNMISS), at the battalion’s headquarters, Bentiu, South Sudan.
On March 19th, 2018, GHANBATT 6, led by its Commanding Officer (CO) Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Albert Sison Ogaja – the substantive CO of First Battalion of Infantry (1BN), Michel Camp, Tema, took off and arrived in the new country of South Sudan and on Thursday, 29th of March, command changed hands for them to assume full responsibilities of their part of the multinational peacekeeping mission, in a short but colourful ceremony.
GHANBATT 5 (about 700 officers and men – among them 57 females) led by Lt Col Andrew Kofi Oduah – the substantive CO of Signal Regiment, back home in Ghana, has been under the UNMISS mandate for a period of one year and has successfully kept the charge and been duly awarded honours by the United Nations (UN), on 28th January, 2018.
In his handing over address, Lt Col Oduah, after thanking all and sundry for the support and commitment shown in the battalion, expressed the assurance that the GHANBATT 6 team would in no doubt maintain the impeccable status of discipline and professionalism that GAF exhibits at all its missions, home or abroad.
UNMISS GHANBATT is composed of about 700 Ghanaian peacekeepers from GAF and has a current mandate of protecting more than 100,000 internally displaced people sheltering at the UN Protection of Civilians site near the UN base in Bentiu.
UNMISS is the newest United Nations peacekeeping mission for the Republic of South Sudan, which became independent on 9 July 2011, as the Mission was established on 8 July 2011 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1996 (2011), comprised of a total personnel of 12,523 (11,350 military and 1,173 police) and is headquartered in the South Sudanese capital of Juba.
UNMISS has a United Nations (UN) Security Council mandate which authorizes the Mission to use “all necessary means” to protect civilians, requiring it to monitor and investigate human rights, create conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to support the implementation of the peace agreement in the strife-torn infant country.
In the execution of its mandate, the Mission helps in the provision of security to the state, policing, justice and helpng to perpetuate democracy.
By Kofi Ampeah-Woode