It is not readily known what form their involvement would be from previously failed military interventions at ending the menace but the President was confident their involvement would make the difference this time.
The President placed the responsibility on the shoulders of the Ghana Armed Forces during the Presentation of Colours to the Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (RECCE), at a colourful ceremony at the Gondar Barracks, Burma Camp, in Accra, last Friday.
“As government intensifies its efforts to curb the illegal mining phenomenon, otherwise referred to as ‘galamsey’, that is polluting our waters, destroying our farmlands and forests, and threatening the very survival of this country, Ghanaians would continue to rely on the efforts of our security services, with the Armed Forces in the forefront, to help deal with the problem. I am confident that, as always, the Armed Forces will rise to the occasion,” he said.
Aside the destruction to the country’s water and land resources, Ghana is said to have lost a whopping $2.3 billion in revenue as a result of gold that left the shores of Ghana through illicit small-scale mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’ in 2016.
The President promised to adequately resource the GHANA Armed Forces to effectively carry out its mandate in an ever changing global environment with its attendant modern risks.
“In terms of military preparedness, government will actively support contemporary training methods that will not only keep you abreast with international military trends, but will also ensure that you remain the beacon of Armed Forces across the continent.
“We are committed to providing you with modern military equipment, which would complement the training you would receive. Government is also committed to enriching the human resource base of the Armed Forces by supporting initiatives that will provide further education for soldiers, sailors and airmen to enhance further their skills at protecting our territorial integrity”.
History in the making
With Friday’s Presentation of Colours ceremony being his first as Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, President Akufo-Addo stated that this was also the very first time in the history of the Ghana Armed Forces that the Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment is being presented with Colours.
“So you can see, it is an auspicious day for me. It means that the Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment is now joined to me in a special way, for my future recollections of this day will always feature you,” he added.
The ceremony for the Presentation of Colours, in tune with longstanding military traditions across the world, has been the sole preserve for units in the infantry.
However, in line with the decision taken to present Colours to deserving combat support units of the Ghana Armed Forces, the Armoured Recce Regiment was presented with its own Colours. The only other combat support units who have ever been presented with their own Colours are the 48 Engineer Regiment and the 66 Artillery Regiment.
The Colours of a regiment represent its honour and devotion to duty, as well as the fighting spirit of military units, and are symbols of bravery and unity.
“As we present you, the Armoured Recce Regiment, with your own Colours, I urge you to revere it and be guided always by its undying principles of perseverance, unity and bravery in the protection of lives and property, and the defence of the territorial sovereignty of our beloved Ghana,” the President stated.
President Akufo-Addo commended the Armoured Recce Regiment for their commitment to duty, and their overall contribution to the Ghana Armed Forces, since its establishment in 1963. The President cited the support given by the Recce units of the Gold Coast Regiments in World War 1 and also in Burma, honours which have been inscribed on the Colours, as well of honours chalked in international peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.