Condolences for Sierra Leone

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Moussa Faki has expressed deep shock following the catastrophic mudslides that killed more than 300 people on the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown.

The African Union on Tuesday reported that the mudslides have also left hundreds more destitute.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones. The entire AU family stands united with the people and government of Sierra Leone during this difficult time," said Faki.

He has appealed to all Africans and the diaspora, as well as to international partners, to support Sierra Leone and its public health system to respond to the disaster, which occurred only two years after the country successfully ended transmission from the deadliest Ebola outbreak in living memory.

Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has declared seven days of mourning across the country with immediate effect.

The President made the announcement through national TV, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, on Tuesday.

The general public is also requested to observe a minute of silence at 12 midday today.

"The President has further decided to invoke MAC-C (Military Aid to Civil Community) and to raise the national security threat level to level 3 in direct response to the unfolding emergency situation," the statement said.

The government also requests bereaved families to continue to identify their fallen loved ones at the Connaught Hospital Mortuary between 9am and 5pm on Wednesday at the mortuary, where they will be advised on the burial procedure, according to the statement.

It said that unidentified corpses will be given a dignified burial at Waterloo between Thursday and Friday. The government will continue to provide the public with regular updates on the situation. - SAnews.gov.za-Xinhua

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