The Republic of Ghana’s flag was raised on Thursday at the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) headquarters as the first Ghanian UNFICYP officer, Sergeant Rebecca Owusu-Yirenkyiat, has assumed her duties. UNFICYP Head Elizabeth Spehar was among those present at the ceremony.
UNFICYP spokesperson Aleem Siddique told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that Ghana is among the 10 first contributing countries to the UN peacekeeping missions worldwide since it became an independent state. He said that more than 80,000 Ghanians have served so far as UN peacekeepers.
Ghana currently contributes some 3,000 peacekeepers to eight UN peacekeeping missions. This is the first time that a UN peacekeeper of the Republic of Ghana is deployed in UNFICYP, even though 10 Ghanians are currently serving in the British contingent of UNFICYP.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
Comprising military and civilian personnel from various contributing countries, UNFICYP arrived in Cyprus in March 1964 after intercommunal fighting broke out. The mandate of the force is renewed every six months by the UN Security Council.
(Cyprus News Agency)