Kenya demands answers from Somalia after plane is ‘shot down’ killing six
Kenya has asked Somalia to investigate the unclear circumstances under which a light aircraft was shot down in Bardale area, Baidoa on Monday killing all six on board.
The African Express Airways Embraer E-120 Brasilia (Kenyan registered as 5Y-AXO) was reportedly ‘shot down’ by a rocket missile over Somalia airspace.
“The incident occurred under unclear circumstances. The aircraft had been and was supporting humanitarian operations during this Covid-19 pandemic period,” Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
In its message to Mogadishu, Nairobi demanded swift investigations into the incident, warning that it could harm humanitarian aid deliveries in Somalia.
“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…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,” the statement further said.
At the same time, the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has confirmed that the Kenyan-registered aircraft, 5Y-AXO, crashed in Bardere, Somalia as it approached the airport, under circumstances they are yet to confirm.
“The aircraft, which had been operating in Somalia since March 2, 2020, departed Mogadishu with medical supplies headed for Baidoa where it landed at 13:10, then departed Baidoa for Berdale landing at 16:00 and later departing for Bardere. The firm’s operations officer confirms having lost contact with aircraft at approximately 16:20,” KCAA said in a statement.
Six people, the pilot, copilot, flight engineer and a trainee pilot, as well as two people working for the airline were onboard.
Somali Transport Minister Mohamed Salad told local news agency that he was sending a unit to investigate, which will arrive on Tuesday, and welcomed international assistance.