The remains of the late Major General Francis Vib-Sanziri was yesterday laid to rest at the new Military Cemetery at Burma Camp in Accra.
The burial of the distinguished military officer followed a traditional military honours ceremony which was attended by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his vice, Dr Muhamadu Bawumia.
Other mourners included the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General of Peace Operations Department, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, former Presidents, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings and John Dramani Mahama, Ministers of State, Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu, members of the diplomatic corps, other UN representatives, service chiefs and commanders, among others.
In accordance with military tradition, the casket containing the late military officer was draped in the national flag which was followed by a solemn filing past by the family and friends of the bereaved, members of the military high command, the clergy and many others.
The family, children, wife, intake mates of the fallen soldier, United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) read tributes in honour of the late Major General Vib-Sanziri.
After committal prayers by the GAF clergy, the body of the late military officer was conveyed on a gun carriage to the Burma Camp, for interment.
As a sign of last respect to the dead, military officers lined the streets leading to the cemetery, saluting and presenting arms as the casket was ferried by to the new cemetery at Burma Camp.
Earlier, the widow, Commissioner of Police (COP) Beatrice Vib-Sanziri said the late military officer was a lovely family man who did all he could to improve the welfare of both family members and those around him.
“An irreplaceable, loving and kind husband and father, who we will sorely miss. Rest well in the bosom of your creator,” she said in a touching tribute.
On behalf of the GAF, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Gyebi Abrokwah, described the fallen soldier as a professional who impacted the lives of many and helped others to build their capabilities.
“He was a sunshine in the GAF who impacted lives and gave hope to the many individuals he came in contact with. General, you are gone but not forgotten. Your banner will continue to motivate all of us to strive for professionalism in all we do,” he added.
Mr Lacroix said the UN and the world was proud to have benefitted from the skills and expertise of the late military officer and described him as a “fine military officer who distinguished himself with distinction.”
Born in Nandom in the Upper West Region on September 17, 1957, the late Major General Vib-Sanziri who died on April 24 this year in Israel, had a professional career spanning 34 years in the GAF.
He was a graduate of the Nigerian Armed Forces Command and General Staff College, Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College and the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
He served as Director-General of the International Peace Support Operations at the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces since April 2017, and also as an Assistant Director, Ghana Army Operations (1996-1998), Deputy Head of the Ghana Military Academy (2002-2004), Commanding Officer of an Infantry Battalion (2004-2009), Director for International Peacekeeping Support Operations in 2009 and Army secretary at the Army Headquarters (2010-2011).
Major General Vib-Sanziri’s extensive peacekeeping experience includes deployments to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in 1988 and 1991, United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNMIL) in 2007.
He also served with the Economic Community of West Africa States Monitoring Group in Liberia in 1990, in Sierra Leone, in 1999 and 2000, and subsequently, with the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).
From 2011 to 2014, he served as a strategic military planner in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations.
In 2014, he was appointed Director-General for Joint Operations, General Headquarters.
He served as Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation from 2015 to 2017.
Until his death, he was the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS AND CEPHAS ADJEI KLU