President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has hailed the level of cooperation between Liberia and Sierra Leone in fighting the outbreak of the Ebola virus that has hit the Mano River Union, leading to scores of death in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The Liberian leader made the statement Wednesday, July 2, when she received the letters of credence from the new Sierra Leonean Ambassador, Brima Acha Kamara.
About a week ago the Government of Sierra Leone declared that “keeping people suspected of Ebola was a crime,” and at the beginning of this week President Sirleaf threatened that anyone who kept a suspected patient home or in church for prayers would be prosecuted and punished if found guilty.
The President said she wants the two countries to continue sharing vital information on the fight against the deadly virus, noting that her government has taken several measures aimed at curtailing the outbreak, including the setting up of testing and quarantine centers.
Recounting the historical ties between the two countries, President Sirleaf recalled the long years of friendship characterized by similarities in origin, culture, difficulties and progress.
With these commonalities there is nothing to stop Liberia and Sierra Leone from being sisterly neighboring countries.
She further informed the new Sierra Leonean Ambassador that she was impressed by the post-war development of the neighboring country, especially its economic policy to create a middle income country.
She described the idea as a successful post-war recovery and encouraged the Government to meet that goal.
On the sub-regional level, the Liberian leader recounted the high level of cooperation and support received from President Ernest Bai Koroma during her chairmanship of the Mano River Union, a position she recently turned over to Guinea following over four years in charge.
“Through his support,” President Sirleaf said, “the MRU countries were able to work together to engage in more development initiatives.”
For his part, the new Sierra Leonean Ambassador, Brima Acha Kamara, said he sees Liberia as a second home and promised to work to further enhance the friendly ties between the countries. Ambassador Kamara is a former Police Inspector- General of Sierra Leone.
Ambassador Kamara, who replaces Ambassador Marie Jilo Barnett, extended on behalf of his President, Ernest Bai Koroma, a renewed commitment to sub-regional cooperation in the interest of Liberians and Sierra Leoneans whom he termed as, “the common people.”
Ambassador Kamara said his country was particularly impressed with the level of treatment Liberia gave Sierra Leone refugees during the conflict in that country which, according to him, demonstrates good neighborliness subsisting between the two countries.
The new Sierra Leonean envoy praised President Sirleaf for her demonstrative leadership he says had further brought Liberia and Sierra Leone closer.
He renewed his country’s vow not ever to allow its territory to be used for generating conflict to affect its neighbors including Liberia.
His predecessor, Ambassador Jilo Barnett ended her tour of duty in Liberia early this year.
She was popularly known in the Liberian media as a member of the female ambassadors “Triangle” that included United States Ambassador, Deborah Malac and Nigerian Ambassador Chigozie Fidelia Obi-Nnadozie, due to their close friendship. They were often seen together almost on every occasion.