‘Any good mission should come to an end’
By Cherno Omar Bobb
Miatta Lilly French, the Resident President of the ECOWAS Commission to The Gambia, has said the hallmark of any good peacekeeping mission is that it should come to an end, adding that it is only when it comes to an end that they know that they have really done their job.
Madam French made the remarks during Ghana’s 66th Independence Day celebration by the ECOMIG Ghana Company 6 at Barra Camp on Monday, 6 March 2023 to commemorate the end of British colonial rule in 1957 and attainment of independence.
The day was marked with a cultural display, exhibition, food bazaar and entertainment.
The ECOMIG GHANCOY 6 has built strong relationship with communities within the North Bank Region through Civil Military Cooperation activities, key leadership engagements, support to religious bodies, schools and other organisations through charitable donations, provision of medical services to locals of Barra and its environs, blood donation and other medical consumables to Essau District Hospital, clean-up exercises and joint fitness walk, renovation works at the Barra Mosque, among other initiatives.
With this, most people within the region do not want the Contingent to leave, but Madam French said that in as much as the community would like them to stay at some point, they have to leave because it is only when they leave that they would know they have succeeded.
ECOMIG’s mandate in The Gambia was extended for another year in January 2023 and the top ECOWAS official said they would start to draw down.
ECOMIG GHANCOY 6 successfully took over full operational responsibility of the North Bank area on 29 April 2022 and since then has professionally, diligently and effectively dominated their area of responsibility for peace and security to the admiration of all.
They conducted independent and combined patrols with personnel of the 2 Infantry Battalion of the Gambia Armed Forces as well as the Gambia Police Force and other sister security forces within North Bank Region. The collaborative patrols have gone a long way to building and instilling confidence in the local populace and people of The Gambia in general.
Over the period, GHANCOY6 has also provided personnel to assist the Gambia Ports Authority to secure the Barry Ferry Terminal, and the resident president said that their presence has created a sense of protection for lives and properties of Gambians and international passengers who use the terminal daily.
She observed that since the inception of ECOMIG in 2007, the Ghanaian Contingent has distinguished itself towards the mission and mandate of the Force.
She entreated GHANCOY 6 to always be guided by the mandate, the various mission directives, their Contingent standard operational procedures and not to relent on training on these procedures and always be vigilant, ready and robust as their slogan conveys.
She congratulated GHANCOY 6 for their professionalism, dedication to peace and exceptional sense of duty, saying that without their efforts, the mandate given to them would not be achieved.
“I encourage you to continue to show dedication and hard work in the remaining days of your tour of duty. Surely, your enormous contribution to the activities of the ECOMIG will hasten our quest for enhanced democracy, peace and security in The Gambia,” she told the contingent.