As Ghana marked its 66th independence anniversary on Monday, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), has commended the country’s contribution to global and continental peace efforts.
Previously known as the Gold Coast, Ghana gained independence from Britain on 6th March 1957, becoming the first sub-Saharan African country to break away from colonial rule.
Ghanaians in Somalia marked the day with an event in Mogadishu, attended by Ghanaian nationals working with ATMIS, the United Nations and other agencies.
The Officer in Charge, ATMIS, Mathias Ngarambe, who represented the SRCC and Head of ATMIS, cited Ghana’s long-standing commitment and immense contribution to global peacekeeping, which he noted, is in line with the aspirations and ideals of their first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
“Your hard work and dedication to the work of the African Union and ATMIS and your contribution to the peace process in Somalia will always be appreciated. In this regard, allow me to convey my special thanks to the government and the people of Ghana for allowing your countrymen and women to serve in this mission,” Ngarambe said.
The OiC noted that the call for African unity, championed by Dr Nkrumah, and the spirit of Pan-Africanism, led the African Union to intervene in Somalia in 2007 as part of efforts to ensure regional and continental peace.
“Alongside our partners, we remain resolute in our determination to support Somalia,” he added.
In Somalia, Ghana has deployed both Police and Military personnel under ATMIS, while several Ghanaians work in the UN Mission. Presently, Ghana has about 200 police officers including a Formed Police Unit serving in ATMIS.
The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, and Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Anita Kiki Gbeho, who is from Ghana, thanked Ghanaian peacekeepers in Somalia for their contributions.
“Here in Somalia, you are doing an excellent job. You are contributing towards the peace, stability and security of Somalia,” said Ms. Gbeho noting that, “If Somalia is not stable, Ghana cannot be stable, and if we are not stable, then the rest of Africa cannot be stable”.
The ATMIS Police Commissioner, Commissioner of Police (CP), Hillary Sao Kanu, paid glowing tribute to Ghana Police officers serving in Somalia for their contributions in capacity building, co-location and securing vital installations together with personnel from other Police Contributing Countries (PCCs).
“You are diligently providing operational support to the ATMIS Police component by securing key installations and to the Somali Police Force, with whom you conduct joint patrols to protect civilians,” said the ATMIS Police Commissioner.
Present at the celebrations were the ATMIS Deputy Force Commander in Charge of Operations and Plans, Maj. Gen. Marius Ngendabanka; the ATMIS Deputy Force Commander in charge of Support and Logistics, Maj. Gen. Peter Kimani Muteti; and the Ghana Police contingent commander, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Peter Lennox Aidoo.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).