President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has vowed to personally intervene and ensure that justice is done concerning the rape and subsequent death of 12-year-old Ma Musu Fofana, which occurred on Sunday, January 18. Joined on Friday, January 23 by the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Julia Duncan Cassell, the President paid a special visit to the family of the girl at their Moulton Corner residence in Brewerville, outside Monrovia, to sympathize with them.
“I am shocked that someone could be so wicked and devilish to the extent of raping and killing an innocent child in such brutal manner,” the President told the bereaved family. “I thought it was very important to come here and see the family myself. I am truly sorry and extend sympathy to the bereaved family for this loss.”
Justice, in this case, according to the Liberian President, is not only against the perpetrator, but all those who one way or the other contributed to the death of the rape victim. These include various health facilities where she was refused treatment and some LNP officers who denied passage at a check-point of the vehicle that was conveying the victim for treatment.
Ma Musu Fofana, the little girl, who many described as resourceful and full of potential, was on Sunday, January 18, brutally raped by 49-year-old Musa Kanneh, a man who many now described as a barbaric and evil minded.
President Sirleaf assured the family that her government takes rape seriously and will leave no stone unturned in bringing perpetrators of rape – especially Kanneh – to justice. “I am awaiting the outcome of the investigation, which is ongoing. We will allow the police and the Justice Ministry to do their job, but let me assure you that the perpetrator of this wicked act will pay dearly in keeping with law,” she assured the family members.
She pointed out that government is concerned about the roles played by different actors following the raping of the child and has requested the Ministry of Justice to probe the situation to facilitate informed actions. “We want to know why she was reportedly rejected by some health centers, and how it got difficult to get her to the John F. Kennedy Hospital in time. We want to know if other factors contributed to her death and who was responsible for those actions,” she indicated.
The Liberian President also used the opportunity to sound a strong warning to would-be rapists that government is fed-up with their wicked behavior and would come strongly after rapists who are bent on destroying children young enough to be their own children. She then encouraged all citizens to see the fight against rape as everyone’s business and join in stopping the victimization of the many innocent children who are being abused and harmed.
The biological mother, Massa Morris and stepfather, Emmanuel Morris, and several of the victim’s family members were on hand to receive the Liberian leader during the visit.
The late Ma Musu’s aunt, Fatu Morris, who the child was staying with prior to her demise, briefed President Sirleaf on the circumstances that led to the raping and subsequent death of little girl and the difficulties encountered in trying to save her life.
She informed President Sirleaf that both Redemption Hospital and Faith Clinic turned the patient away when she was taken there for treatment. She also highlighted the difficulty in getting the raped child to the JFK Hospital. “She is gone and we are now looking up to the government to give us justice,” Fatu Morris stressed.
Other family members thanked President Sirleaf for her interest and visit and expressed the hope that justice will be done to the one who took the life of their young daughter.