United Kingdom has apologised to Sierra Leone over a scandal involving a broken plane it hired to fly President Ernest Koroma to a conference on Ebola in London last week.
The President`s office called off his planned attendance to the ‘Defeating Ebola in Sierra Leone’ conference in London at the last minutes, after it emerged the plane had developed technical fault.
United Kingdom convened the conference as part of its effort to contain the Ebola epidemic that`s worsening by the day in Sierra Leone, as well as in neighbouring Liberia and Guinea.
But the aftermath of the London conference has been overshadowed by President Koroma`s infamous failed attempt to attend it.
The issue has placed the Presidential office on the limelight as his aides apportion blame.
Most of the blame had been laid on the President’s personal assistant Brian Gilpin who was accused of hiring the “rotten” plane.
BEST LAID PLANS
But in a letter dated Wednesday October 8, the UK High Commissioner in Freetown acknowledged that the aircraft was indeed chartered by the UK government and said all efforts were made to have the President fly to London.
“Despite the best laid plans these things happen,” the High Commissioner wrote.
As of Thursday, among a total of 2,596 cases, 708 people had died in Sierra Leone alone, where the epicenter of the epidemic has shifted from the east to the north and western area, including Freetown.
The leaders of the three affected countries on Thursday addressed the World Bank-IMF round table conference on Ebola and appealed for more support.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf blamed “slow response” by the international community for the high death toll, while her Guinean counterpart Professor Alpha Conde sounded concern about the effects of the epidemic across the whole economy of his country.
Speaking via video link from Freetown, President Koroma said the disease had compromised the livelihood of his people.
The World Bank had warned that the Ebola epidemic could cost the economies of the affected countries $32.6bn by the end of 2015 if it is not contained.
FOLLOW NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS ON FACEBOOK @ New Africa Business News.com