today's Pick
S.Sudan warring forces trade blame over UN chopper crash
Publish Date: Aug 27, 2014
S.Sudan warring forces trade blame over UN chopper crash
South Sudanese soldiers secure a road near Jubas Airport. AFP Photo
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WARRING forces in South Sudan traded blame Wednesday for the crash of a UN helicopter in which three crew died, although investigations have yet to confirm if it was shot down.

 

The helicopter crashed Tuesday some 10 kilometres (six miles) from the northern oil town of Bentiu, one of the worst-hit areas in the civil war that has roiled the young country for more than eight months.

 

A UN team was investigating the wreckage of the Mi-8 helicopter on Wednesday, but have made no comment on the cause of the crash, in which three were killed and one wounded.

 

The crew members were reportedly all Russian, according to the UN.

 

Army spokesman Philip Aguer said rebels "shot it down", but provided no further evidence.

 

Rebel spokesman Mabior Garang, son of South Sudan's first president John Garang who died in a helicopter crash in 2005, dismissed the claims as "malicious allegations".

 

He said rebel troops nearby had "heard a loud explosion, and upon investigation found that an aircraft had crashed", but claimed it landed in an area controlled by the army.

 

"The area in which the plane was reportedly shot down is government-held territory, if indeed the aircraft was shot down," Garang said.

 

Thousands of people have been killed and more than 1.8 million have fled a civil war sparked by a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar.

 

Rebel forces in Unity are led by warlord Peter Gadet, who has been slapped with sanctions for atrocities by both the United States and the European Union.

 

"The plane was shot by forces of Riek Machar under Peter Gadet," Aguer said, adding the army had also sent a team to investigate.

 

The town of Bentiu has been badly damaged in heavy fighting between government and rebel forces.

 

Earlier this month government troops there opened fire on a UN peacekeeping base sheltering 40,000 civilians, wounding a child and spraying bullets across the camp, during celebrations to mark a holiday.

 

Rebel forces last week seized a UN helicopter carrying a ceasefire monitors.

 

UN cargo helicopters are vital to supplying peacekeeping bases and providing food for civilians, with aid agencies warning of the risk of famine should fighting continue.

AFP

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Babu abused EALA MPs - impeachment report
The former speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, Margaret Zziwa, was impeached for, among other reasons, allowing her husband to interfere with the operations of the assembly and issuing threats to members and staff....
President Yoweri Museveni has appointed Charles Elem Ogwal as the second deputy Director of Public Prosecutions with immediate effect....
Seventy years on, US judge clears executed black teen
A judge in the southern US state of South Carolina has thrown out the conviction of a black teenager executed 70 years ago for the murder of two white girls....
EU court says obesity can be disability
The European Union's highest court ruled Thursday that obesity can be considered a "disability" if it hinders an overweight person's performance at work....
Village votes to expel HIV-positive boy
The plight of a Chinese boy with the HIV virus, reportedly pushed to leave his home by 200 villagers who signed a petition...
Sony cancels release of film on N. Korea leader
Sony Pictures on Wednesday cancelled the release of a madcap comedy about North Korea that triggered chilling threats from hackers....
Do you agree with the ban on the export of maids?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter