Authorities of the Ministry of National Defense (MoD) and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) High Command on Tuesday, May 29, presented a check of US$70,000 to the next of kin (NoK) of the late Private first class (Pfc) Ansu Ousmane Sheriff of the AFL as benefit of the fallen soldier.
The NoKs are Fatim Sheriff and Fatumata Sheriff, wife and daughter (respectively) of the deceased soldier.
The check is an international peacekeeping death benefit the United Nations (UN) pays to family members of deceased soldiers, especially those who died while on active peacekeeping duty through the AFL High Command.
AFL Chief of Staff Major/General Prince C. Johnson, III, who presented the check to the family, said the AFL will always stand by the NoK of the late Private Sheriff, adding, “Life is priceless and the AFL appreciates the bravery and gallantry of the fallen soldier.”
Johnson said the presentation of the check brings to a close several benefits that the NoK have received from the MoD and the AFL, which included death and fallen soldier’s compulsory savings and insurance benefits.
Maj/Gen. Johnson further stated that in June this year, the UN will present an award to the fallen soldier through his next of kin at the Agency Headquarters in New York.
Deputy Defense Minister for Administration, Tibli Olandrus Dickson, who proxied for Minister Daniel Dee Ziankahn, thanked the next of kin and family members of the fallen soldier for the numerous sacrifices that the late Ousmane Sheriff made while serving his country by protecting international peace.
Dickson recalled how in the past, other countries made similar sacrifices during the heat of Liberia’s civil crisis when they too contributed soldiers; some of them lost their lives in the process.
“Therefore, it is an honor for Liberia to be reciprocating the same by looking after family members of the soldiers who lost their lives during peacekeeping,” Mr. Dickson said.
In response, Baokai Sheriff, who spoke on behalf of the NoK, thanked the MoD authorities and the AFL for standing with them during their period of bereavement.
Sheriff said normally, it is expected for children to bury their parents. As such, it is unbearable for the family to have buried their son, who had gone to keep peace in another country.
“But whatever happened is the will of the Almighty Allah,” Sheriff lamented.
It can be recalled that Pfc Ansu Ousmane Sheriff died on May 3, 2017, as a result of multiple mortar shell attack by Malian rebels on a UN Peacekeepers’ base in Sector West, Timbuktu, while on peacekeeping mission in that troubled West African country (Mali) with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA).