President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent separate messages of congratulations to the Governments and peoples of the Republics of Togo and Sierra Leone, on the occasion marking their 56th and 55th Independence Anniversaries, respectively, on April 27, 2016.
Togo gained its independence from France in 1960; while Sierra Leone gained independence from Britain after more than 150 years of rule in 1961. According to a Foreign Ministry release, in the message to her Togolese counterpart, His Excellency Mr. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, the Liberian President extended warmest congratulations and best wishes to the Government and people of Togo on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia. She assured President Gnassingbe that the Government of Liberia will continue to support continental and regional peace and security and further prayed that the bonds of friendship enjoyed by their two countries will be further strengthened for the mutual benefits of their respective peoples. Whereas, to her Sierra Leonean counterpart, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President Sirleaf extended warmest felicitation and best wishes to the Government and people of Sierra Leone, adding that after successfully defeating the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, it is her fervent prayer that the Almighty God will restore the prosperity of Sierra Leone as God continues to endow President Koroma with abundant wisdom to lead his country to noble heights. She also hoped and prayed that the bonds of friendship so happily subsisting between the two countries and people will be further cemented in furtherance of sub-regional, regional and international peace and economic development; adding, “It is my prayer that the people of Sierra Leone continue to enjoy the blessings of peace, national cohesion and economic growth.” In a related development, President Sirleaf has also sent a message of congratulations to the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa on the occasion marking the 22th Freedom Day anniversary of that country. April 27 commemorates the day in 1994 when the first democratic election was held in South Africa. Today, South Africa celebrates Freedom Day to mark the liberation of the country and its people from a long period of colonialism and white minority domination (apartheid). In the message to the South African President, His Excellency Mr. Jacob Zuma, President Sirleaf extended heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to the Government and people of South Africa on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia. She recalled, with gratitude, the sisterly support of South Africa during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and other affected countries. President Sirleaf entertained the hope that as the people of South Africa commemorate this historic occasion, which ended the despotism of apartheid and ushered in an inclusive democratic dispensation under the auspicious leadership of the iconic freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, the historic cordial ties of friendship and cooperation which subsist between their two countries will be further strengthened for the mutual benefit of their two peoples.