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Emmanuel A. Erskine

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Title: Emmanuel A. Erskine  
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Subject: Lebanese Civil War
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Emmanuel A. Erskine

Emmanuel Alexander Erskine
1st Commander of UNIFIL
In office
March 1978 – February 1981
Succeeded by Lt. Gen. William O'Callaghan
19th Commander of UNTSO
In office
Preceded by Erkki Raine Kaira
Succeeded by Lt. Gen. William O'Callaghan
15th Commander of UNTSO
In office
January 1976 – March 1978
Preceded by Colonel Keith D. Howard
Succeeded by Lt. Gen. William O'Callaghan
Personal details
Born (1937-01-19) 19 January 1937 (age 77)
Kumasi, Ghana[1]
Political party People's Heritage Party (defunct)
Profession Soldier
Military service
Allegiance Ghana
Service/branch Ghana army
Years of service 1960 - 1986
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands Chief of Army Staff

Lieutenant General Emmanuel Alexander 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 the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Education and training

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.[2]


Ghana army

Erskine was commissioned at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in December 1960 into the Signal Corps of the Ghana army. Erskine has served in various capacities with the Ghana army. He was Commanding Officer of the Ghana Signals Regiment and later Director of Communications with the Ghana Ministry of Defence. He later became Director for Operations and Planning at the same Ministry from 1971 to 1972. He was the Chief of Army Staff briefly between January and February 1972. He again held the same position from February 1973 to April 1974.[3]

United Nations Peace Keeping

Erskine 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 as the Chief of Staff of UNTSO in Israel between January 1976 and April 1978.[4] He subsequently became the first commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) between 1978 and 1981. 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.[2]


Erskine was one of the founding members of the People's Heritage Party (PHP). He was the party's presidential candidate during the 1992 Ghanaian presidential election.[5][6] He came fifth with 1.7% of the vote. The PHP later merged with the National Independence Party to form the People's Convention Party (PCP) in 1993.[7]

National Reconciliation Commission

Erskine was one of the nine members of the National Reconciliation Commission which were appointed by the President of Ghana, John Kufuor in consultation with the Council of State of Ghana. The commission was to investigate human rights abuses committed during the five military regimes which have ruled Ghana.[8][9][10]

General Emmanuel Erskine Research and Documentation Centre

The Centre for Peace Initiatives in Africa (CPIA) is a peace organization based in Harare, Zimbabwe. It was established in February 2001[11] and has Erskine as the chairman of the board of trustees.[2] 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.[12] The GERDC also launched the General Emmanuel Erskine Annual Lecture Series. The inaugural lecture was delivered by General Erskine himself.[13]

Other activities

General Erskine is the Chairman of the Opportunities Industrialization Centre Ghana Accra Local Programme Committee.[14] He has been a member of the Pugwash council since 1992[15] and was a participant at the 50th Pugwash conference which deliberated on "Eliminating the Causes of War".[16] He served as the Chairman of the Ghana Action Network on Small Arms (GANSA)in 2002.[17]



External links

  • National Reconciliation Commission Report
  • General Emmanuel Erskine Research and Documentation Centre
Military offices
Preceded by
Brigadier H. D. Twum-Barimah
Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by
Brigadier D. A. Asare
Preceded by
Brigadier D. A. Asare
Chief of Army Staff
1973 - 1974
Succeeded by
Brigadier Fred W. K. Akuffo
New title Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
1978 – 1981
Succeeded by
Lt. Gen. William O'Callaghan
Party political offices
New title People's Heritage Party Presidential Candidate
Party merged with National Independence Party to form People's Convention Party

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