The duo include Henry Kwami Anyidoho and Joseph Narh Adinkra who held the rank of Major General as they served under the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (MINUAR) during Genocide against Tutsi which took lives of more than 1 million victims.
Gen Henry Kwami Anyidoho served as MINUAR Deputy Mission Commander and Commanded Ghanaian contingent under this mission while Gen Joseph Null Andinkra was a commanding officer of Ghanaian battalion.
The ceremony was held on Monday 4th July 2022 as Rwanda marked the 28th Liberation Day.
The National Order of Bravery (Indengabaganizi) is conferred to an individual or group of individuals who, in an exemplary way, demonstrated outstanding supreme acts of self-sacrifice in saving the life of one or many people.
Both Generals are commended for exemplary leadership and unfailing bravery where they ordered forces to continue protecting civilians who fled to them when other countries had withdrawn troops.
Maj Gen Anyidoho expressed delight to have received the medal as Rwanda celebrates the 28th Liberation Day and dedicated it to heroes who paid their ultimate price to liberate Rwanda as well as Ghanaians and Rwandans who lost their lives.
“At the time, the United Nations in new York was contemplating the decision to close down its mission in Rwanda in view of the deteriorating security situation. I said to myself as an African General who played a role in the mission, we cannot turn our backs on Rwanda.
I said, this is time that Rwandans need us the most. I therefore sought and obtained the approval from the Government of Ghana to retain a residual force to assist in addressing the deteriorating security situation in whichever way possible,” he said.
Gen Anyidoho also commended Rwanda’s remarkable progress for the past 28 years and Rwandans for leaving the past behind to move together along the development journey.
He said that the experiences of Rwandans also left lessons to the whole world which should prioritize peacekeeping as a pillar for development and advised African countries to always strive for peace irrespective of whatever differences.
President Kagame hailed the courage of the retiring soldiers for having chosen to stay in Rwanda instead of abandoning civilians who fled to them.
He revealed that the award presented to them did not come by accident as it was planned for long.
“I congratulate you, and thank you for your dedication and commitment. Where others fled or were withdrawn by their governments, leaving Rwandans to their fate, these officers remained and continued to lead their men and women, and did what was right to do,” he said.
“Through you, I convey our deep appreciation to the Government and people of Ghana for this decision. The Ghanaian battalion saved countless lives, under the most difficult circumstances. And there is no soldier involved who does not carry invisible wounds in his heart, to this day. A genocide produces no heroes. Simply doing one’s duty required exceptional courage, like these Generals did. Most failed the test. These officers did not,” added Kagame.
Ghana has around 850 troops deployed under MINUAR during Genocide against Tutsi.