Assistant Defense Minister for Public Affairs David Dahn, has disclosed the name of the soldier of the Armed Forces of Liberia, who was killed on peacekeeping mission in Mali as Ansu Sheriff.
Minister Dahn clarifies that Officer Sheriff didn’t die in combat or force-on-force attack, adding that troops from Liberia were never targeted specifically as the base in which they reside plays host to multinational troops, including Nigerians, Swedish, Burkinabes, Chileans, and Malians, among others.
Speaking in a press briefing at the Ministry of Information on Thursday, 4 May in Monrovia, the Assistant Defense boss explains that it was just unfortunate that when the rebels’ long range dropped, the Liberian troops were unfortunate to have received the fatality, leaving one dead and three others seriously wounded.
“It was the first of its kind since June 2013 when Liberia went into the mission and has had three rotational deployments successfully without any report of fatality, and it is regrettable to loss one soldier at this time”, Dahn lamented.
He details that in total, nine peacekeepers sustained injuries, including eight Liberians and one Swedish soldier, adding that conditions of the three Liberians are very critical and they have been flown from the Camp to Bamako and subsequently to Senegal, for further medical attention. Meanwhile, Minister Dahn maintains that the Ministry of National Defense will remain engaged in the process until peace is restored to Mali.
When asked about the return of the body, he reminded that the multinational troops are part of a UN Mission, so it has to go through UN protocol to make sure that the proper documentation are concluded so that the UN can make sure the body is accorded appropriate exit from the peacekeeping duty to the home Country, disclosing that it will take about a week.
When also quizzed about benefits the deceased family should get from the government, Dahn notes that it is a UN Mission and he thinks the UN may have something like that in its plans, saying there is an ongoing investigation to ascertain the weapon system that used in the attack and the security system will all be captured in the ongoing investigations.
By Samuel P. Kamara