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
Court petitioned to block Murchison Falls oil exploration
The High Court in Kampala has been petitioned to block oil exploration by global energy giant Total in protected areas of Murchison Falls National Park....
KIU ordered to pay sh149m to Kanyeihamba for sacking
The High Court in Kampala has awarded Prof. Geoerge Kanyeihamba sh149m as compensation for his sacking as chancellor of Kampala International University(KIU)....
19 year old mother of  triplets in dilemma
Moreen Kemigisha, a resident of Kamwokya, Kifumbira is in need of assistance to look after her three sons....
S.Sudan bans all foreign workers, including aid staff
War-torn South Sudan has banned the employment of all foreign workers, including those with non-governmental organisations...
Vivo Energy trains motorcyclists on road safety
Vivo Energy has conducted the 6th road safety training for commercial motorcyclists, locally known as boda bodas....
Kutesa takes over United Nations office
Uganda’s foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa assumes office today as president of the 69th UN General Assembly. He was unanimously elected president of the General Assembly on June 11, taking over from John Ashe....
Will early retirement solve Uganda’s unemployment problem?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter