Eko Hot Blog reports that in a grand ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in Bissau on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea Bissau conferred the distinguished National Order of Merit, Cooperation and Development Medal upon Brigadier General Al-Hassan Muhammad Grema.
Gen Grema, the former Force Commander of the ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau (ESSMGB), was recognized for his outstanding contributions to peace and stability in the region.
Gen Grema, hailing from Nigeria, served as the inaugural Force Commander of the ESSMGB, a mission deployed to Guinea Bissau in April 2022 following a failed coup attempt earlier that year. The coup attempt had thrown the nation into turmoil, with an attack on the President and his cabinet during a meeting at the Palacio do Governo.
Under Gen Grema’s leadership during his 17-month tenure, the ESSMGB played a pivotal role in stabilizing Guinea Bissau and restoring peace and security. Economic activities flourished, and numerous international non-governmental organizations and global entities returned to the country, demonstrating the enhanced sense of security. Notably, several nations, including the United States, are actively working to reopen their diplomatic missions and offices in Bissau.
President Embaló, addressing a gathering of Guinea Bissau military and political leaders during the award ceremony, praised Gen Grema for his remarkable contributions and extended his well wishes.
General Christopher Gwabin Musa, Chief of Defence Staff, lauded Brig Gen Grema for bringing pride to Nigeria and urged other Commanders involved in foreign missions to follow Gen Grema’s remarkable example.
This recognition underscores the critical role played by Gen Grema and the ESSMGB in fostering peace and stability in the fragile West African nation of Guinea Bissau.
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