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
Thomas Sankara
THE government of Burkina Faso has ordered former president Thomas Sankara''s corpse to be exhumed, potentially rekindling controversy over the 1987 assassination...
Chameleone faces murder charges
Singer Joseph Mayanja aka aka Dr. Chameleone is facing murder charges after the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) ordered for the reopening of a case file involving the murder of Robert Karamagi....
Marriages are more likely to end in divorce if the wife takes seriously ill, a newly released US study has found....
Outrage as mayor lifts woman
A Mexican mayor sparks outrage after lifting a woman's dress while dancing on stage during his lavish 44th birthday bash....
Otunnu to quit UPC party presidency
UPC leader Olara Otunnu says he will not seek another mandate as party president....
Immigrants entering Europe tripled in 2014
NEARLY triple the number of migrants entered the European Union in 2014 compared to the previous year, mainly due to refugees fleeing war in Syria...
Is KCCA doing enough to curb poor hygeine?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter