Gov’t demands answers after Kenyan plane shot down in Somalia killing six


Gov't demands answers after Kenyan plane shot down in Somalia killing six
Kenyan plane downed near airstrip in Bardale, Somalia. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The ministry, in a statement released on Tuesday, expressed shock and regret at learning of the news saying the aircraft had been supporting humanitarian operations during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now tasked the Somali government with providing answers on the “unclear circumstances” under which a Kenyan-registered aircraft was on Monday shot down in Bardale, killing six people.

The ministry, in a statement released on Tuesday, expressed shock and regret at learning of the news saying the aircraft had been supporting humanitarian operations during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

The Kenyan government now wants Somali to “thoroughly and swiftly investigate the matter” saying it could affect humanitarian activities in the country.

“Kenyan and other humanitarian aircraft operating in the region are also urged to enhance extra precaution in light of the unclear circumstances surrounding the incident,” read the statement.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs working with other Agencies shall keenly monitor the investigation of this tragic incident and will collaborate with all to bring closure and resolution to the incident.”

The Embraer 120 aircraft operated by Africa Express was reportedly chartered by a non-governmental organization to deliver medicine and medical equipment from Baidoa to Bardale.

Those on board the plane – including two pilots, an engineer and crew members – are all said to have died.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), in a statement to newsrooms, said the aircraft had been operating in Somalia since March 2, 2020.

According to KCAA Director General Capt. Gilbert Kibe, Africa Express’ operations officer has since confirmed that they lost contact with the aircraft at 4:20pm.

Somali’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation later stated that they are “conducting thorough investigation and will publish the findings in a timely manner.”

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