Lebanese President Sleiman honours two retired military officers

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
General Erskine

The President of Lebanon, Gen Michel Sleiman, has presented medals of honour to Lieutenant General Emmanuel Alexander Erskine and Lieutenant General Seth Kofi Obeng, for their contributions to the peacekeeping operation in Lebanon.

Both Lt Gen. Obeng and Lt Gen. Erskine were former Commanders of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

President Sleiman presented the medal to Gen. Obeng while that of Gen Erskine was received on his behalf by his wife, Mrs  Rose Erskine, at the  UNIFIL Cenotaph at the Burma Camp in Accra today (Sunday).

Lt Gen. Erskine (born 19 January 1937) is a retired Ghanaian soldier and politician. He is a former Chief of Army Staff of the Ghana Army. He is also a former Commander of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) and UNIFIL.

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Lt Gen. Erskine trained in various military institutions in the United Kingdom. He had telecommunications training at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in England, completing in 1960.

 He was also at the Staff College, Camberley in 1968. He also trained at the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1968 and 1972.

Lt Gen Obeng (born 26 January 1945) is a former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Ghana Armed Forces. He was once also the Commander of UNIFIL.

On July 15, 1987, Obeng was awarded a postgraduate Diploma in International Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth Kansas, United States. He also obtained a Master of Science Degree in Defence Studies from the National War College in Delhi, India in 1992.

Before the presentation of medals, President Sleiman visited the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, where he laid a wreath on the tomb of first Ghana’s President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, while his wife, Wafaa, laid one on the tomb of Fathia Nkrumah.

Accompanied by Ghana’s Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh, President  Michel was welcomed at the Mausoleum by the children of Dr Nkruma -  Professor Francis Nkrumah, Ms Samia Nkrumah and Dr. Sekou Nkrumah.

President Sleiman also went to the Asomdwe Park, where he laid a wreath at the tomb of former President John Evans Atta Mills.

While at the UNIFIL cenotaph at the Burma Camp in Accra, President Sleiman laid another wreath in honour of fallen Ghanaian soldiers in Lebanon.

He had earlier inspected a guard of honour at the Burma camp.

Meanwhile, President Sleiman left Accra today (Sunday) for Beirut.

Story by Musah Yahaya Jafaru