LIBERIANS YESTERDAY OBSERVED a day of mourning in memory of the death of a Guinean delegation that was en route to Liberia to participate in Tuesday's celebration of the Armed forces Day. The Guinean Chief of Staff with four other military personnel and five civilians including a journalist were killed on Monday when their aircraft crashed near the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County outside Monrovia.
GUINEAN AMBASSADOR ACCREDITED near Monrovia, Elhadji Abdoudaye Dore, confirmed the death of his statesmen to reporters in Monrovia minutes following the celebration of Liberia's Armed Forces Day celebration. Information Minister Lewis Brown also told Journalists at RIA that the Government of Liberia has already informed the Government of Guinea of this shocking incident.
LIKEWISE, UPON RECEIVING confirmation about the death of the delegation, President Sirleaf, during Monday's program broke protocol, by acknowledging this tragic incident and immediately extended condolence to families of those killed in the Monday plane crash and declared yesterday national day of mourning in memory of the killed Guinean nationals.
FOLLOWING THE CRASH, it was established that the flight originated from Conakry, Guinea at 0709 GMT and the air traffic control cleared the flight to land at RIA. "That was the last known contact with the crew," the RIA management told newsmen.
FOR ITS PART the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has offered its condolence and sympathy to Government of the Republic of Guinea and the family and friends of the passengers who perished in the crash.
UNMIL IN A press release said it has supported the Liberian authorities with their response and recovery efforts, and is now supporting the conduct of a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Monday's incident.
FOR US, WE are saddened by this tragic incident, especially for a country that has not been regarded of having poor air safety record. We can recall that the last known incident was that of the former Police Director Joe Tate and other senior security officers who were returning from part of the country when their plane crashed in the same Charlesville.
THIS COUNTRY SHOULD not only observe this day of mourning, but should ensure that the incident be properly investigated. An investigation is indeed necessary to ascertain the cause of the crash.
WE BELIEVE THAT this could be possible with the number of eyewitnesses, the RIA management and the black box. Again, we demand an investigation. This should not be in the case of the late Joe Tate and others when nothing was heard as to the actual cause of that crash.