Ghana pays tribute to UN Peacekeepers

Accra, May 29, 2014 – Accra, 29 May 2014 – Dignitaries, including members of the Security Services, diplomatic corps, chiefs, and representatives of religious bodies gathered at the Forecourt of the State House in Accra today to commemorate the annual International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. The flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony was preceded by a minute of silence in commemoration of the 106 peacekeepers perished last year while carrying out their duties under the UN flag, among them three Ghanaians.

UN Resident Coordinator ai Susan Ngongi

UN Resident Coordinator ai Susan Ngongi

“Today we pay special tribute to the more than 100 Ghanaian personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives since Ghana joined UN peacekeeping operations more than 60 years ago.” UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Susan Ngongi stated in her address.

Ghana ranks the 8th on the list of 122 countries contributing to UN Peacekeeping, with a total of 2992 uniformed personnel serving on nine UN peacekeeping operations. In 2013, Corporal Daniel Kwaku Sasu of UNMIL, Private Kwabena Nyarko of UNMIL and Lt. Col. Jack Franklin Glawu of UNAMID passed on while on duty as UN Peacekeepers. “We mourn the passing of every one of these courageous individuals.” Ms. Ngongi expressed to the audience.

Minister of Defence Mark Woyongo

Minister of Defence Mark Woyongo

On behalf of the Government and people of Ghana, the Minister of Defense, Mr. Mark Owen Woyongo also honoured the departed that lost their lives in the quest for peace, and paid a special tribute to the widows and families of the departed. He expressed Ghana’s commitment to global peace effort. “Ghana will continue to work with United Nations to secure peace in West Africa and beyond”, the Minister firmly stated.  

Mrs Vivianne Glawu, widow of deceased peacekeeper Lt/Col Jack Franklin Glawu, laying a wreath on behalf of widows of fallen heros

Mrs Vivianne Glawu, widow of deceased peacekeeper Lt/Col Jack Franklin Glawu, laying a wreath on behalf of widows of fallen heros

“My husband was a good Christian, very kind and always smiling.” Mrs. Vivianne Sallah Glawu, wife of the late Lt. Col. Jack Franklin Kofi Glawu, expressed to UNIC Accra in an interview after the ceremony. A mother of two, a fourteen year old boy and an eleven year old girl, Mrs. Glawu smiled talking about her late husband. “I suspected it”, she said, “a delegation from the Southern Command came to my house and advised me to be strong and take heart.  Then I knew something was wrong. They broke the news of my husband’s demise” she added.

Traditional & religious leaders

Traditional & religious leaders

According to Mrs. Glawu, she had been informed of the UN’s decision of non-payment of any compensation as according to the UN Lt. Col. Glawu died of pre-existing conditions at the UN peacekeepers camp site in South Sudan. He served as a military officer for almost 20 years and had been stationed for three months in South Sudan prior to his death. “It is a painful circumstance but what can I do?” She asked. “I will like to encourage all women to find something to do so that they will be able to support their children in times of crisis like this.” She added.  She called on the United Nations to consider payment of some compensation. “It has not been easy” she stated, “The children have a long way to go in terms of education”. She hopes that the UN will support them.

Mrs. Glawu is a professional caterer.