By Flight Lieutenant Elizabeth Fadilatu Salifu

A memorial service in honour of the late Major General Francis Vib-Sanziri, aged 62, Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has been held in Israel on Wednesday 24 April 2019, after his sudden home call on Good Friday, 19th April 2019, at Eilat, Israel.

The solemn ceremony, which was held at Camp Ziouani, Eilat, was graced by Ghana’s Ambassador to Israel, Her Excellency (HE) Mrs Hannah Ama Nyarko, who was aided by fellow Ambassadors from Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia, among other diplomats.

In her remarks, Ambassador Nyarko, representing the President and People of Ghana, extolled the virtues of the distinguished late General of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) who was widely acknowledged as very professional and dedicated to duty.

The body of the late Maj Gen Francis Vib-Sanziri draped in the UN flag was given the final honors of the last post, followed by 2 minutes silence and the reveille.

There was also a wreath laying ceremony where Ghana’s Ambassador Nyarko laid a wreath on behalf of the Government and People of Ghana, while other key personalities at the ceremony also laid wreaths for the departed Force Commander.

A 25-member delegation from Ghana Battalion 85, under the leadership of the Contingent Commander, Colonel (Col) John Lawluvi and the Commanding Officer (CO) Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Fiifi Deegbe, serving in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), took key part in the ceremony.

Other dignitaries at the memorial service included, Major General Cheryl Pearce, the Force Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), a delegation from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) , Senior UN military and civilian staff, representatives from the Israeli Defence Force and other mourners from Israel and Syria.

A similar memorial service will be held on Friday, 25th April 2019, at Camp Faouar in Syria Arab Republic, after which the body of the late General is due to arrive in Ghana on Saturday, 27 April 2019 for further funeral rites.

Maj Gen Vib-Sanziri was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres in October 2017 to head the Multi-National Force. He was the former Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organization from 2015 to 2017.

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