Liberia: Guinea Consoles Govt, Bereaved Families of Fire Disaster

Minister Sirleaf speaks to the reporters at the JFK hospital, as Guinea Youth Minister Moutar Diallo, Minister of Cooperation and Africa Integration, Madame Djene Keita and Mr. Bangura Head of the Delegation, look on.

-Presents US$30,000 to Families, Muslim Community

President of Guinea, Professor Alpha Condé has extended his sympathies to the people of Liberia and the bereaved families whose children died in recent fire disaster that took the lives of 26 students and two teachers at an Islamic madrissah school in Bassa Community, Paynesville, on Wednesday, September 18.

President Condé's message was delivered through a special Guinean Delegation comprising Sheik Bangura, head of Islamic Affairs, as well as Guinea's Youth Minister Moutar Diallo and Minister of Cooperation and African Integration Madame Djene Keita.

The delegation, on Sunday morning, September 29, visited the scene of the incident and one of the survivors who is currently receiving treatment at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) hospital in Sinkor.

Mr. Bangura, Head of the Delegation, said the people of Guinea expressed gratitude to the government and people of Liberia for ensuring the successful burial of the children and the level of sympathies as indicated by the Guinean Ambassador and the Muslim Community.

Mr. Bangura, said "this is US$30,000 on behalf of the Government and the people. US$28,000 for the 28 persons that died in the fire disaster, and US$1,000 for the two survivors, while US$1,000 goes to the Muslim Community and elders."

At a ceremony held at the 17th Street Mosque, the money was presented to Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf, who delivered it to the Imam of the Mosque.

"During this difficult time of national tragedy, the people of Guinea wish to express their solidarity to you and the bereaved families in particular," Sheik Bangura said.

Guinea Ambassador to Liberia, Abdoulaye Doré, also told the delegation of the role played by President George M. Weah during the fire disaster, including visiting the scene, praying with the Muslim Community at the Mosque and being present at the burial site on the Old Road.

"We are awaiting the outcome of the investigation of circumstances surrounding the deaths of the children as indicated by President Weah. President Weah has called on the residents of the community and Liberian people at large to be patient," Amb. Dore told Guinean delegation.

Guinea Ambassador to Liberia, Abdoulaye Dore speaks to delegation and others at the scenes in Paynesville.

Amb. Dore said the Guinean Community in Liberia remains grateful to their President for sending a delegation to console the government and the bereaved families as well as survivors.

Minister of Cooperation and Africa Integration, Madame Djene Keita, said when God decided to take the children it means that they have completed their mission in this world.

"My sister had such experience and had to stay months in the hospital and today, she is now a medical doctor," Madame Keita told the Muslim Community, Government's officials and family members at the 17 Street Mosque in Sinkor.

Madame Keita further added that "we want to thank the people of Liberia for their level of kindness. The population in Guinea is urging everyone to let's go and consider it in the past."

Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf said the presence of the delegation in Liberia demonstrates unity in the Mano River Basin. He further extended gratitude to the government of Liberia and the bereaved families in particular.

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