Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has flown to neighbouring Sierra Leone in a show of solidarity with the government and people of the West African state terribly hit by a devastating mudslide, killing hundreds near the capital Freetown.
After leading cabinet members to the Sierra Leonean Embassy near Monrovia to sign a Book of Condolence, Mrs. Sirleaf later took off Thursday afternoon, 17 August via the James Spriggs Payne Airport in Sinkor, suburb of Monrovia.
She had been received at the Sierra Leonean Embassy by Charge d’Affaires Dr. Roseline Turay and embassy staff, following which the President and her officials sign the Book of Condolence.
Following the signing ceremony, Liberia’s Information Minister Eugene Nagbe told journalists outside the Embassy that instruction had already been given for Liberia to deploy military personnel to give assistance to the sisterly country.
“Instruction has been given already so that our military, whatever support they can give they will give. It is mine understanding that some of our troops will be going to Sierra Leone today,” Minister Nagbe says.
He sees the situation in Sierra Leone as a sad for the whole world, taking note of a saying that when your brother’s house is on fire, you got to worry about yours. “We as Liberians should take all the precautions that we have to take …, we have to remember that this was a natural disaster and that sometimes it is an act of God that is difficult to prevent,” he notes.
He says “we are all very sad” and the president and her cabinet had signed the Book of Condolence opened by the Embassy to pay sympathy to the people of Sierra Leone. In addition to deploying personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia to provide assistance to Sierra Leone, Mr. Nagbe says Liberia remains engaged with the affected country as it always does through Manor River Union, ECOWAS and UN, committing whatever help Liberia can give.
He says President Sirleaf has spoken with the Sierra Leonean President Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma, assuring him that mountains will be removed if required. At the Signing were Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamaram, Justice Minister Frederick D. Cherue, Finance Minister Boima Kamara, Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Henrique F. Tokpah and Information Minister Eugene Nagbe.
Others were Commerce Minister Axel Addy, the Director of the Cabinet Jordan Sulunteh, Minister of Post and Telecommunications Dr. Frederick Norkeh and Transport Minister Samuel A. Wulue, among others.
–By Winston W. Parley