President Sirleaf Urges MRU Residents to Remain United

Thursday, 19th July 2007
Jubilant residents turn out in the Guinean town of Gueckedou.
Jubilant residents turn out in the Guinean town of Gueckedou.
Photo Credit: James M. Garreson, II/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the peoples of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are still one people, despite being divided by geographical boundaries. The President said there is a strong bond of friendship and commitment which exists among the three countries and challenged her Colleagues to deliver on the hope and aspirations of the people.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the President spoke on Tuesday in Gueckedou, Guinea, when she addressed the Third Session of the Makona River Union General Assembly. The Assembly also brought together Guinean Prime Minister Lassana Kouyate and Sierra Leonean President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. The Makona River Union, which is a subset of the Mano River Union, brings together people of the Kissi tribe which exists in the three countries.

President Johnson Sirleaf paid tribute to Guinean President Lassana Conte for promoting the spirit of cooperation. The President also lauded those she referred to as ‘partners’ who have worked hard to achieve peace in the region, adding that ‘the Union is at peace’. The President emphasized that she and her fellow Heads of State are working towards strengthening the Mano River Union’s Secretariat, which she described as ‘too slow and inactive’.

Others who addressed the Union’s General Assembly included Sierra Leonean President Tejan Kabbah, Guinean Prime Minister Kouyate, the Speaker of the Guinean National Assembly His Excellency Aboubacar Sompare and Makona River Union Secretary General, Mr. Saa Philip Joe of Liberia.

President Johnson Sirleaf later visited Zorzor and Voinjama in Lofa County, where she inspected the refurbishment of the Telewoyan Hospital and the Voinjama Multilateral High School. Both projects are under the auspices of the Government of Switzerland and Peace Winds, a Japanese non-governmental organization respectively. During a welcoming program held in her honor in Zorzor, the President commended the people of Lofa for their hard work, but pointed out that more needs to be done. The President further pledged to continue to work towards improving the conditions of market women in the county.

The Liberian leader was accompanied on her tour of the county by Lofa County Superintendent Garlakpai Kortimai, Development Superintendent Fofie Baimba as well as traditional and opinion leaders of the county.