The government and people of Liberia have been receiving commendations locally, regionally, continentally and even globally for the level of progress being made thus far in the fight against the horrendous Ebola Virus Disease that has traumatized the nation and its neighbors since February this year.
One African leader to add his voice to those that have commended the Liberian people for their resilience and courage is the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubaca Keita.
The Malian leader said that he is upbeat about the level of leadership demonstrated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the fight against the Ebola virus disease, describing it as “exemplary”.
He made the commendation over the weekend when he paid a daylong solidarity visit to President Sirleaf and the Liberian people.
During a press stakeout with the Liberian President in the foyer of the Foreign Ministry that houses the President’s office, President Keita said he felt compelled to pay a solidarity visit to Liberia in return for what President Sirleaf did for his country when she worked for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) African Bureau when he was then Prime Minister.
He said during Madam Sirleaf’s tenure as UNDP Africa Regional Director General, she approved a lot of aid funding for the development of his country. “Though we have been talking on the phone since the Ebola outbreak, I would have never felt relieved if I had not personally come to Liberia to see her,” the Malian President said.
President Keita said he has seen the progress with his own eyes and will not hesitate to tell the people of Mali that Liberia had made huge gains in the fight against Ebola and soon the virus will be history in Liberia.
He extended appreciation, on behalf of the Malian people, to the Government and people of Liberia as well as international partners for working together to contain the Ebola outbreak.
He also thanked President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia for their political and military intervention that has now brought peace and stability to his country.
Liberia currently has a small Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) infantry platoon as part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.
Speaking earlier, President Sirleaf thanked her Malian counterpart for remaining engaged with Liberia during its health crisis. “Though you have been on the phone all the time with me on the crisis, you thought it wise to come on the ground to demonstrate your solidarity to us as a country and the Liberian people greatly appreciate you for your solidarity,” the Liberia leader told President Keita.
She attributed the gains made in the Ebola fight to the resilience of the Liberian people and international partners for what she described as “good collaborative efforts”.
President Keita is the second African leader to pay a solidarity visit to Liberia since the outbreak of the Ebola virus, the first being Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, who is also chairman of the sub-regional organization, Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS). The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and other leaders have also paid solidarity visits to Liberia since the Ebola outbreak.