Liberia: UN mission supports response to air crash that killed Guinean high officials

Peacekeepers attached to the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) at Tapeta, 250 Kilometers East of Monrovia. UN Photo/Shima Roy

11 February 2013 – United Nations peacekeepers in Liberia are today assisting with response and recovery efforts for a plane crash outside of the capital city Monrovia that is believed to have claimed the lives of at least 11 high-ranking military officials from neighbouring Guinea.

“The United Nations Missions in Liberia (UNMIL) offered its condolences and sympathy today to the Government of the Republic of Guinea and the family and friends of the passengers,” the mission said in a statement released shortly after the morning crash.

“UNMIL has supported the Liberian Authorities with their response and recovery efforts, and is now supporting the conduct of a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding today’s incident,” the mission added.

Among other assistance, the mission is contributing heavy lifting equipment and ambulances to the Government-led response to the disaster.

The military officials were travelling from Guinea to attend Liberia’s National Armed Forces Day celebrations when their plane crashed in the town of Charlesville, near the country’s main airport, approximately 45 kilometres south of Monrovia, according to UNMIL.

Passengers included a number of Guinea’s high ranking military officers, including Chief of Army Staff General Kelefa Diallo, the mission said.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has reportedly declared tomorrow a day of mourning for victims of the crash.

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