The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. B. Elias Shoniyin, has praised H.E. Ambassador Rudolf P. von Ballmoos for dedicated service to the nation before his demise few weeks ago. Ambassador von Ballmoos died at the Epsom General Hospital in Surrey, London, on Thursday, December 19. He was 56.
Speaking after signing the Book of Condolence for Ambassador von Ballmoos today, January 5, 2016, Acting Minister Shoniyin remembered the late Liberian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the many years of enormous contributions and services he rendered Liberia.
“Ambassador von Ballmoos served in many capacities in his representation of this nation. He served extensively in Accra, Ghana, during the period of conflict spanning to about nine years before he was assigned to the Court of Saint James, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” the Acting Foreign Minister said.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Acting Minister Shoniyin narrated that he started having personal interactions with the late Ambassador when he (Shoniyin) began serving in the Position as Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for international cooperation in early 2006.
In this position, the Acting Minister had “direct interactions” with Ambassador von Ballmoos. During this time, they exchanged many productive government actions that led to tangibles for Liberia and Liberians.
“When he took up assignment in the United Kingdom, our engagements even further deepened because at that time, I was also the Deputy Minister for International Cooperation and Economic Integration during which time, the volume of cooperation between Liberia and the United Kingdom certainly increased under his representation,” Acting Minister Shoniyin added.
He further added that that since Ambassador von Ballmoos died in active service, it is the full responsibility of the Republic of Liberia to ensure a respectable funeral rite and to ensure that the Liberian people get the opportunity to say farewell to the fallen Ambassador.
“His death left a very huge gap in the Foreign Service. Finding another person to replace him will obviously take some time,” he stated.
Before Acting Minister Shoniyin and others signed the Book of Condolence, H. E. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, was the first to sign.
Mrs. Angie von Ballmoos, wife of the fallen Ambassador described her late husband as a servant and a leader.
“He served his country to the end. I am a protégée of my husband’s service to nation,” she stated.
She praised H. E. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, for taking “good care” of her husband while he was ill.
Also speaking, Maryland County Senator Dan Morais, who chairs the Senate Steering Committee on Foreign Relations, was also full of praise for the Late Ambassador. “This was somebody who was very service-oriented: whether it was 1 a.m. or 2 a.m., when one landed in London, whatever time you land, you will find him and he will seek to ensure that you are served before he leaves. That was the kind of service he brought to the diplomatic field in Liberia.”