President Sirleaf Joins Sierra Leonean Counterpart Bai Koroma at Mudslide Victims Burial in Waterloo

Friday, 18th August 2017
President Sirleaf receives by Vice President Victor Foh upon arrival at Lungi Airport.
President Sirleaf receives by Vice President Victor Foh upon arrival at Lungi Airport.
Monrovia, Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last Thursday joined her Sierra Leonean counterpart, President Ernest Bai Koroma for the burial of last Monday's mudslide and flood victims at the Paloko Cemetery in Waterloo on the outskirts of Freetown. She also sympathized with the government and people of Sierra Leone. 
Over 400 people have been confirmed dead while more than 600 remain missing from the disaster of early Monday. Workers struggled in the thick mud and debris of smashed homes in search of more bodies.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf departed Monrovia on Thursday August 17, 2017 after performing the signing ceremony of the Book of Condolence at the Sierra Leonean Embassy in Congo Town, Monrovia. She arrived at Lungi International Airport and was received by Sierra Leon Vice President Victor Foh and a host of senior government officials including Liberia’s Minister Counselor cum Deputy Head of Mission, Geraldine Bass-Golokeh to Sierra Leone. 
President Sirleaf was accompanied by Information Minister, Transport Minister, Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh of Angie Brooks International Center, and Deputy Gender Minister Yallah, among others. 
In a brief tribute, President Sirleaf expressed deep sympathy behalf of the people and government of Liberia to President Koroma, the government and people of Sierra Leone during this time of national mourning. “We say to you how much we feel the pain; how we share the sorrow, with all of those who have been victimized by this tragic event”," President Sirleaf told mourners at the cemetery.
Speaking further, she entreated God’s blessing on President Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone including family members of victims. She assured that God will give them the strength and courage to overcome the disaster that had befallen the nation. She added: “We pray that God will give the leadership of this country the strength and courage to accept this major loss.” Both leaders wore surgical masks as the decomposing bodies were laid into the ground and also laid wreath on the burial site. 
Also speaking, Sierra Leonean President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma thanked President Sirleaf, the government and people of Liberia for the solidarity shown to the people of Sierra Leone at such time. He encouraged his people to remain steadfast and keep the hope in spite of what has happened. “We will bury our love ones; but we will not bury our hopes," President Koroma told mourners. He told members of the bereaved family that the government of Sierra will stand with them emphasizing that Sierra Leone will rise again. 
President Sirleaf and delegates returned home Thursday evening.