13 February 2013

Liberia: Days of Mourning

The Guinean government has declared threedays of national mourning for the death of army chief, General Souleymane Kelefa Diallo and others killed in a plane crash in Liberia.

General Diallo and 10 other passengers, including five other army officers, died when their plane crashed as they were making their way to attend Liberia's armed forces day on February11 in Monrovia.

As a mark of honor, the Guinean flag flew at half mast during the mourning period, AfriqueJet Afrique website reported.

A military communiqué issued in Guinea shortly after the crash, said General Namory Traore, the deputy army chief of staff, will replace General Diallo as head of the Guinean army. General Diallo was known as a reformer within the military.

No-one survived after the plane with six military officials and five crew members crushed in thick forest in Charlesville, near Liberia's leading international airport, the Roberts International Airport (RIA).

Speaking at the Armed Forces day ceremony, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf dedicated a minute of silence forthe General and others who died in the tragic plane crash.

Later during the day, President Sirleaf visited the scene of the crash where the CN-235 flight came down.

The Liberian government also declared a day of mourning on Tuesday, February 12. All public buildings, business centers and other areas were closed as Liberians observed the day.

The cause of the crash remains unknown; however, Liberian authorities and other groups are conducting investigation into the incident.

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