The Minister for Defence of Ghana, Dominic Nitiwul, has announced that his country will reduce the presence of their soldiers in Gambia from 208 to 50.
Gambia’s dictator Yahya Jammeh has lost election On December 1 but refused to step down, following which the regional leaders combined military force to oust him.
Nitiwul said the downsizing 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 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.
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.”
The regional forces have also issued a press release yesterday revealing that they are downsizing their troops from 7000 to 500 men.
Currently, regional forces are in charge of security in the country and they are embarking on the third phase of their mandate which is reforming the security forces of the country.