The Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Brigadier General Santi Bonfanti, has commended the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) for its valuable contribution to the quest for peace in South Lebanon and to the success of that UN mission.
He acknowledged Ghana’s pioneering role in Lebanon, recalling the consistent support it had given to UNIFIL, the deployment of thousands of troops and the provision of two Force Commanders over the 32 years it had spent in that theatre of operation.
A statement issued in Accra on Thursday by the Directorate of Public Relations of the GAF said Brig. Gen. Bonfanti gave the commendation at the medals presentation parade for the 72nd Ghanaian Battalion (GHANBATT 72) deployed at Al-Qawzah, South Lebanon, last weekend.
He lauded the contributions of that battalion, recognising its outstanding cooperation and cordial relations it maintains with the Lebanese Armed Forces and people.
“Particularly commendable is the GHANBATT’s assistance to the local population through the execution of well planned activities and the promptness in handling emergency medical case reported by locals to GHANBATT Level One Hospital”, Brig. Gen. Bonfanti was quoted as saying.
The statement said he entreated the troops to be motivated by the recognition of their outstanding performance to work even further, even though Ghana had paid a huge price for peace, losing thirty soldiers and about three hundred more suffering from varied degrees of injuries.
Brig. Gen. Bonfanti stressed the need for battalion and the UNIFIL to do its best in close cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces and within the Framework of the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that expanded the mission, to ensure peace and security and the successful implementation of their mandate in South Lebanon.
“I have full confidence in the battalion’s continuous commitment to UNIFIL and in your proven professionalism”, he said.
The statement said the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Joseph Narh Adinkrah, Ghana’s Honorary Consul-General in Beirut, Mr. Michel Haddad, as well as other senior officers from the Lebanese Armed forces were present at the occasion.