The NEWS (Monrovia)

Liberia: We Mourn Guinea's Tragic Plane Crash

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Liberia is mourning the death of senior Guinean military officers who died in a plane crash on Monday enroute to participate in Liberia's Armed Forces day celebrations.

The Guinean plane crashed in Charlesville, nearthe Roberts International Airport, about 45 kilometers (28 miles) south of Monrovia, Liberia's capitol.

Information Minister Lewis Brown confirmed the death of ten persons, including Guinea's Chief of Staff, Gen. Souleymane Kelefa Diallo. He was traveling with five other senior military officers.

Delivering her Armed Forces day message, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf extended condolences to the Government and people of Guinea for the catastrophe. The Liberian leader also declared Tuesday, February 12, a working holiday, urging Liberians to mourn the demise of their West African brothers who were on their way to celebrate with them on armed forces day when their plane came down.

"We want to extend our condolences to the Government and people of Guinea for the tragic plane crash involving army officials who were on their way to grace this occasion", the Liberian leader said.

The Actual Cause of death is unknown; however, Liberian authorities and other groups are investigating the crash. Earlier, President visited the scene of the plane crash.

Reports Of The plane disaster came as a shock to Liberians, especially when President Sirleaf, while addressing the nation mentioned the tragic incident. The festive occasion turned sour as the nation went into mourning.

This Is The first major plane crash in Liberia in about nearly 14 years. The last crash occurred in August 1999 when former Police Director Joe Tate and five others died in a helicopter disaster enroute from Maryland County. Since then, Liberia has not experienced any incident of the sort. Notwithstanding, this government has consistently adheres to the highest standards of international air safety regulations, and is doing everything to maintain that pace.

For Us, We believe the incident is regrettable and that the people of Guinea didn't have to go through this period of grief. We join the government and people of Liberia in mourning this tragic death. We share your pains for which our government has announced a day of national mourning.

The Incident Isunfortunate; however, we want to encourage the government and people of Guinea to take solace in the Lord that only HIM alone would have possibly turned the ugly face of death around. We pray that God will guide you through your period of bereavement. May the soul of your fallen heroes rest in perfect peace.

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