The State of Israel has honored the late Major General Francis Vib-Sanziri – the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) – who died on duty in Israel.
According to a released statement from Colonel Eric Aggrey-Quarshie, Director Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces, a road on the Golan Heights in Israel has been renamed the ‘Vib-Sanziri Route’ in honor of the slain African fighter.
Reports further state that, a citation presented in his honor read: ‘Vib-Sanziri Route’ is named after Maj Gen Francis Vib-Sanziri (1957-2019) of the Ghana Defence Force, who served as Head of Missions and Force Commander of UNDOF 2017 – 2019.
“He was a true warrior for peace who played a crucial role in many peacekeeping operations across the world.
“The State of Israel salutes late Maj Gen F Vib-Sanziri for his commitment to enabling security and stability for both Syrians and Israelis.
“He will be remembered as a great leader, a true partner, and most of all – a visionary.”
Israel local news reports that the 62-year-old, who had commanded the multi-national force since September 2017, reportedly died of a heart attack while in the southern Israeli port city of Eilat.
Late Maj Gen F Vib-Sanziri was born in Nandom in the Upper West Region on September 17, 1957; the late Major General Vib-Sanziri who died on April 19 this year in Israel, had a professional career spanning 34 years in the GAF. Thereafter, he was buried on Friday, June 28, 2019, at the New Military Cemetery in Accra, Ghana.
He passed away weeks after the UN renewed the mandate of the 1,000-strong UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) that was dispatched to a buffer zone between Israel and Syria in the Golan in 1974, tasked with monitoring a ceasefire in the wake of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
He graduated from 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, sequentially.
He served 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, Army secretary at the Army Headquarters (2010-2011) and as Director-General of the International Peace Support Operations at the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces since April 2017 until death.
Late 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 worked with the Economic Community of West Africa States Monitoring Group in Liberia in 1990, in Sierra Leone, in 1999 and 2000, and respectively, with the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).
Starting from 2011 – 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 – 2017.
Until his death, he was the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).