Lt Gen E. A. Erskine
Emmanuel Alexander Erskine was born to Mr. Afenya Erskine, a Pharmacist and Madam Elizabeth Ekua Baba Ansah, a trader. He was born as Kwamina Ahinful, in January 19th 1935 at Fanti new town, Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Gen Erskine hails from the Asamoah and Asona Royal Ebusua of Ekumfi Edukoma Asokwa family. He lost his father when he was just four years old, and was taken to Accra to stay with his elder sister. Apparently he was the last born on the five children. He started school at the Accra Royal school and completed his middle school successfully in 1949. After that he sought for job and became a news vendor and subsequently became a proof reader in the Graphics corporation. After saving enough money he enrolled in Fijai secondary School (Sekondi), in the western region of Ghana and obtained his West African School Certificate in 1956, He paid his own school fees with his savings.
THE PRIDE OF GHANA AND THE WHOLE WORLD
After high school in December 15th 1960, In completion he was commissioned into the Signal he enlisted in the Ghana Army at the Teshie Military academy in March 17, 1958. After 6 month training he was sent for telecommunications training at the Royal Military Academy SandhurstCorps of the Ghana Army. He was also at the Staff College, Camberley in 1968 and trained at the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1968 and 1972. Lt Gen Erskine was a man of great strength and determination, he got married to Rose Anastasia Erskine and they had 12 children, a man who loved children and family.
Lt Gen. Erskine enrolled in further advanced military courses, including two signals courses at Catterick, Britain and an associate officer’s course in the USA. He then came back to serve in various capacities with the Ghana Army, as a Commanding Officer of the Ghana Signals Regiment and later Director of Communications with the Ministry of Defence. He later became Director for Operations and Planning at the same Ministry from 1971 to 1972. He became the Chief of Army Staff between January and February 1972. He later held the same position from February 1973 to April 1974. Gen. Erskine also served as the Chief of Staff and Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Emergency Force Two (UNEF 2) from 1974 to 1976 in Egypt.
He was then appointed the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in Israel between 1st January 1976 and April 1978. In 1978, Lt Gen. Erskine, one of Ghana’s celebrated military officers, was appointed the first Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which was established that year to confirm Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese government in restoring its effective authority in the area.
On the 40th Anniversary of UNIFIL in 2018, the Ghana Armed Forces honoured Lt Gen. Erskine, who led the body till 1986, for his distinguished service. Erskine again occupied the position of Chief of Staff of UNTSO and was also the United Nations Secretary General's Representative for Matters relating to UN Peacekeeping Operations in the Middle East from February 1981 to May 1986.
In 1992, he contested the country’s presidential election as the candidate of the People’s Heritage Party (PHP), of which he was a founding member. Gen. Erskine was also one of the nine members of the National Reconciliation Commission, who were appointed by President John Agyekum Kufuor in consultation with the Council of State.The commission was to investigate human rights abuses committed during the five military regimes in Ghana.
Research and Documentation Centre was named after him The Centre for Peace Initiatives in Africa (CPIA) is a peace organization based in Harare, Zimbabwe. It was established in February 2001 and had Erskine as the chairman of the board of trustees. The CPIA has the General Emmanuel Erskine Research and Documentation Centre (GERDC) named in his honour and was officially opened in September 2001 by him. The GERDC also launched the General Emmanuel Erskine Annual Lecture Series. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Erskine.
Among his numerous awards is the:
Member of the Star of Ghana
Cedar Lebanon’s highest military award
Lt Gen E. A ERSKINE
Gen Erskine was an international diplomat, a UN peace keeping forces commander in the middle East. He was a distinguished army general and made a significant contribution to the world.
Date of Birth: 19th January 1935
Time of Birth: 11:45am
Place of Birth:Fantsi Newtown, Kumasi- Ghana
Longitude: 2deg W
Latitude: 7deg N
Time Zone: 0
Longitude of Meridian: 0