COST OF FIGHTING AL SHABAB RISES AS ETHIOPIAN CARGO PLANE CRASHES IN SOMALIA
(Posted 10th August 2013)
The ongoing clean up operations against Al Shabab remnants in Somalia have taken a further toll on the coalition forces when an Ethiopian Air Force cargo plane with 6 crew on board crashed yesterday on landing in Mogadishu. The crash reportedly happened just after day break. Only two survivors could be pulled from the wreckage while their other four compatriots perished in the crash. Flight operations in and out of the airport were suspended to put out the resulting fire and then collect evidence for the air accident investigation, before the runway will be cleared and flights can resume.
Mogadishu airport has since the fight to clear Al Shabab radicals and their pirate allies out of Somalia started a few years ago seen several such crash landings and it is remembered when a flight carrying Burundian and Ugandan personnel out of Entebbe also crashed into Lake Victoria a few years ago.
A senior Ugandan army officer, who served in the past in Somalia, on condition of anonymity said: ‘We and Burundi were the first to go in. We lost good men in that fight but it was and is a just fight. Uganda played a part on behalf of Africa to restore a proper government and bring law and order. We all mourn the loss of our Ethiopian comrades in that crash. It is a reminder of the price we have to pay to keep Africa at peace and help Africa develop’. Indeed, warm sentiments shared by this correspondent who also extends his condolences to the families and friends of the deceased as well as to the people and government of Ethiopia.
Air Uganda is now flying three times a week between Entebbe and Mogadishu, following in the footsteps of Ethiopian Airlines and among others, Turkish Airlines, which have for some time been offering scheduled flights to the Somali capital city.