Monrovia – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has concluded a one-day working visit to Guinea and Sierra Leone with a commitment to collaborate on the fight against terrorism in the Mano River basin and beyond. The Liberia leader visited the two countries on Friday, May 6, 2016.
According to an executive mansion release, President Sirleaf and the leaders of Guinea and Sierra Leone, Presidents Alpha Conde and Ernest Bai Koroma agreed to cooperate in intelligence sharing and security alertness to combat terrorism in the region. The West African leaders condemned terrorism and recognized the danger it poses to the region and other parts of the world and reflected on the horror committed in Burkina Faso, Mali and Ivory Coast and Nigeria. A joint communique was signed by both President Sirleaf and President Koroma following discussions in Freetown while similar agreement was earlier reached during the visit to Conakry between Presidents Sirleaf and Conde. The visit allowed President Sirleaf and her Guinean and Sierra Leonean counterparts to exchange views on bilateral, political, health, and socio-economic issues as well as reflect on the progress and challenges of the three countries in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis that affected the region. They expressed satisfaction over the level of progress made in containing the virus and towards recovery. The leaders also agreed on measures aimed at maintaining peace and sustainable development in the Mano River Union basin for effective transitional, medium and long-term as well as socio economic cultural programs in the three Ebola-affected nations. They expressed sincere appreciation to the international community for the support during the epidemic and appealed for further assistance to scale up activities with the view to achieving sustainable economic growth within the MRU region. The leaders also extolled the deep fraternal and family ties between the respective countries and peoples as well as the cooperation nurtured over the centuries. They also agreed to work together and cooperate with the international community to combat the scourge in human trafficking and other related trans-global crimes in the Mano River Union basin and the West African sub-region. The Mano River basin leaders reiterated their pledge and determination, to collaborate with and among them to pave the way for obtaining pre-Ebola development status. They also re-echoed their appeal of to the international community for the much needed support to the Ebola affected countries, including budgetary support, debt cancellation, and the building of resilient public health system. They agreed to pursue regular consultations on regional, as well as international issues and matters of bilateral interest. President Sirleaf was accompanied to the two West African Nations by Lands, Mines and Energy Minister, Patrick Sendolo, NSA Director, Fumba Sirleaf, amongst others.