Liberia: Hospital Reportedly Holds Remains of Late Amb. Fossung Pending Settlement of Medical Bills; But GoL Says All on Course for Return of the Body

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MONROVIA FrontPageAfrica has gathered that the family of the late Mary-Ann Fossung is contemplating writing the President of Senegal, Mackey Sall, to help the family return her remains from Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, where she received medical attention until her demise on February 3.

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in clarification told FrontPageAfrica that they have met with the family of the late ambassador and all modalities and finances have been settled for the repatriation of the remains to Liberia.

Mr. Sylvester Pewee, Assistant Minister for Public Affairs told FrontPageAfrica that the Liberian government has already met all requirements for the return of the body and has been in discussion with the family on the funeral arrangements. 

He, however, refused to say when the remains is expected in Liberia, noting that though it would be a state funeral, the family must be respected.

But FrontPageAfrica gathered from family sources that the family had been constrained once again to seek the intervention of President Sall who was instrumental in ensuring that Amb. Fossung was flown to Tunisia for treatment on December 4, 2019.

According to the family source, the Liberian government has failed to settle medical bills since she was admitted at the Carthagene Hospital on December 4. As a result, the hospital has reportedly decided not to release the remains until the bills are settled.

“Since the Government of Liberia does not want to settle the bill and it was President Mackey Sall who helped us to get her there, we decided to write him again to seek his intervention so that our mother can be brought back to Liberia for burial,” the family source said. 

FPA also learned that the family is also in talks with former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who first posted her to Senegal for help in getting the body back to Liberia.

Last week, FrontPageAfrica reported that the former Ambassador was reportedly abandoned by her government during her illness. FPA gathered that she wrote the Ministry of Foreign affairs on several occasions requesting her delayed salaries to be paid in order to help her seek medical attention, but to no avail. 

However, Mr. Pewee debunked the story, stating that the Liberian government had been very supportive and was also well on course with the payment of bills at the hospital where she was admitted and preparing for the repatriation of the body.

Mr. Pewee said the latest update that the family is seeking the intervention of the Senegalese President comes as a surprise to him because officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday had a “fruitful discussion” with the family.

The late Ambassador Mary-Ann Fossung was a dedicated public servant who served her country and people with distinction in several capacities including, First Secretary, Liberian Embassy near Dakar, Senegal; Charge d’ Affairs, Liberian Embassy, Senegal; and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Liberia, to the Republic of Senegal, with Concurrent accreditations to the Gambia, the Republic of Cape Verde/ Cabo Verde and the Republic of Mauritania. 

“Since the Government of Liberia does not want to settle the bill and it was President Mackey Sall who helped us to get her there, we decided to write him again to seek his intervention so that our mother can be brought back to Liberia for burial”

– Family Source

She Joined the Liberian Foreign Service in February 2009 when she was first posted to Senegal as First Secretary and Consul at the Liberian Embassy near Dakar, a position in which she served with dedication.  

On May 1, 2019, the late Ambassador Fossung was appointed by H. E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, as Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Senegal.

Before joining the Liberian Diplomatic Service, Madam Fossung served as Assistant Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Transport in 2008 during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  

Pres. Weah’s Tribute to the Late Ambassador:

It is with utmost sadness that I have learned of the death of Ambassador Mary-Ann Fossung, Ambassador plenipotentiary accredited to the Republic of Senegal with oversight for our Foreign Missions in the Republics of the Gambia and Cape Verde respectively.

Ambassador Fossung died on February 3, 2020, at the Carthagène Hospital in Tunisia after battling with illness. We are at a loss for words to express how saddened and grief-stricken we all are – upon hearing of the death of one of our devoted emissaries.

Ambassador Fossung was a dedicated diplomat who worked assiduously to promote our Foreign Policy, deepen bilateral relations and economic cooperation – between the Government and people of Senegal and that of ours. She served with utmost probity and distinction, and her passing has created a deep void within our Foreign Service as she will truly be missed.

Ambassador Fossung’s service at our Foreign Mission in Senegal began in 2008 when she was Commissioned as 1st Secretary and worked assiduously until she was later promoted to the position of Ambassador plenipotentiary in 2019. Her time as Ambassador to Senegal saw a heightened period of cooperation between our respective Governments, and further created several opportunities for the benefit of our respective countries.

As the Government and People of Liberia join the Fossung family in mourning the passing of their loved one, I would like to, on behalf of the Government and in my own name, extend my heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy to the Fossung Family, Our Foreign Service – most especially our Mission in Senegal, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all others affected by this loss.

I reckon that these are tough times for the Fossung Family and our Foreign Missions, and we will continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers during this time of deep sorrow.

Indeed, Liberia has lost a great soul and a committed public servant. May her soul rest in perfect peace and may light perpetual shine on her.

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