DANGEROUS SKIES OVER SOMALIA MAKE AIR OPERATORS NERVOUS
(Posted 27th May 2020)
Just three weeks after an Ethiopian military unit shot down a civilian aircraft on final approach into the Berdale airstrip, which was bringing urgent medical supplies into the area, was another similar incident reported. The African Express Embraer 120 turboprop aircraft subsequently crashed, killing all 6 on board.
This time was another Kenyan aircraft, a LET410 registered as 5Y-VVA shot at and had both hull and wing punctured. The aircraft also carried vital supplies needed in Somali for the fight against #COVID19 after reporting over 1.700 cases by yesterday.
While Somali officials were again swift in blaming the attack on Al Shabab – just like three weeks ago – did it later on emerge that there were no known operations by Al Shabab going on in the area but that another Ethiopian military unit was based on the ground from where the shots were fired.
The previous response from the Somali government – in any case engulfed in a lingering dispute with Kenya over maritime borders – to the Kenyan government three weeks ago was seen to be insufficient and the aviation fraternity in Kenya is again demanding answers and assurances that duly licenced and cleared humanitarian mission flights receive better protection from now on.