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Kenya seeks answers from Somalia over plane crash

Tuesday May 5, 2020

 Kenya has sought answers from Somalia and international agencies on Monday’s crash of a cargo plane in Baidoa, Somalia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday urged the agencies to investigate the crash which it holds occurred "under unclear circumstances".

The African Express-operated plane carrying aid supplies for use in the fight against the coronavirus crashed in Somalia killing all six, including two Kenyans, on board.

"The government of Kenya urges the government of Somalia and international agencies to thoroughly and swiftly investigate the matter because it impacts humanitarian operations at a time of highest need," the ministry said in a statement.

It added that Kenyan and other humanitarian aircrafts operating in the region have been urged to enhance extra precaution "in light of the unclear circumstances surrounding the incident".

"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."

Doomed flight

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said the Kenyan-registered aircraft, 5Y-AXO, had been operating in Somalia since March 2, 2020.

On Monday, it left Mogadishu with medical supplies headed for Baidoa where it landed at 1310hrs. It then left Baidoa for Berdale landing at 1600hrs and later departed for Bardere and crashed as it approached the airport.
"The firm’s operations officer confirms having lost contact with aircraft at approximately 1620hr," KCAA director-general Capt. Gilbert Kibe said.
He said his agency was in communication with Somali Civil Aviation Authority about the incident, adding the crash was under circumstances they are yet to confirm.

However, News agency Reuters reported that the plane appeared to have been shot down. They quoted former defence minister Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed who had spoken to a witness at the airfield.

"He provided pictures that showed the plane in flames, pieces of it scattered over a small area and its tail intact and provided a passenger list with six names. Reuters was unable to immediately verify the images or confirm the names," the report read.

Al-Shabaab insurgents have a presence in the area of the plane crash and have since not commented on being involved in the incident.


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