Ethiopian troops admit shooting down Kenyan plane

Ethiopian troops admit shooting down Kenyan plane

Captain Mabruk Islam Sherman, one of the two pilots who died after a light aircraft was shot down in Somalia. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary

  • The aircraft, 5Y-AXO, had actually been permitted by the Somali Civil Aviation Authority to fly from Mogadishu to Baidoa and back, a 600km round trip.
  • Ethiopian forces claim they had no communication.
  • The incident has touched off a political spark in Somalia especially among leaders

opposed to Ethiopia’s ventures.

By AGGREY MUTAMBO
More by this Autho

(nation)—Ethiopian forces in Somalia have admitted to shooting down a Kenyan cargo plane on Monday, leading to six deaths, on ‘mistaken identity’.

A preliminary report filed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) indicated that the forces guarding Bardelle airstrip in Baidoa adjudged the plane’s unusual flight towards the facility as a potential suicide mission.

But the revelations  that the troops on guard at the facility were non-Amisom members of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) could raise legal questions on their presence in Somalia.

A report filed by the Sector III Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Somalia said the troops at Bardelle, some 300km northwest of Mogadishu were unaware of any incoming civilian flight at the time.

“There was no information that the aircraft would be at Bardelle… the aircraft was flying out of usual site repeatedly closer to the ground,” Ethiopian forces said.

“The troops suspected that the aircraft was a suicide attacker and seeking a target to attack. Due to the above reason, the African Express Type E-120 was shot down by our force.”