The Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, has announced that Ghana’s soldiers in the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia, will be downsized to 50 soldiers.
He says this is in line with current arrangements within the mission to reduce the number of soldiers there, due to the success of the international Community in persuading long time leader Yahya Jammeh to leave that country.
“In line with the downsizing, Ghana’s troop contribution will be cut to 50 men and the highest officer will remain with the 50 men,”
Mr. Nitiwul said while reporting on the progress of the mission in Parliament on Wednesday.
Ghana contributed 208 soldiers to the ECOWAS mission with a mandate to keep the peace in the Gambia in the midst of the country’s post election impasse.
Mr. Nitiwul further stated that, the Ghanaian soldiers had discharged themselves creditably, adding that Ghanaians in Gambia were safe.
“I can report to this House that our troops have taken advantage of their presence in The Gambia to visit and secure all the Ghanaian people or people of Ghanaian descent.
The Ghanaian community in The Gambia are well secured and safe. Ghana’s deployment has been successful because of government’s prompt decision and approval of the financial support that the troops needed. It is envisaged that 158 men will be arriving on the 20th and 21st, leaving 50 men in The Gambia.”
Mr Jammeh was defeated in the December’s election by Adama Barrow, but refused to step down after he lost, forcing ECOWAS to deploy troops from Ghana, Senegal and other African countries to compel him to hand over.
Mr. Jammeh later decided to step down after talks with the presidents of Guinea and Mauritania.
He subsequently left The Gambia for Guinea, paving way for the new President, Adama Barrow, who had been sworn into office in neighboring Senegal, to return to the country.