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Saturday May 9, 2020 – The Ethiopian Government has written to the African Union (AU) to clarify the shooting of a Kenyan plane that saw the demise of five people.

In a statement addressed to the African Union (AU), the Amisom Force Commander absolved the troops from blame and explained that the plane was shot down due to failure to properly communicate with the troops on the ground.

According to reports, the flight exhibited suspicious behaviour as it flew over the base and had soldiers on the edge as they could not ascertain what exactly the mission was due to a communication breakdown.

The commander further added that the plane did not follow due protocol in its attempts to access the base, thereby raising suspicion from the soldiers who had to take it down.

“When an aircraft is arriving at Berdele FOB, the usual landing direction is East to West, but the aircraft was flying from West to East to land over the base camp of Belrdele, too close to the ground and even tried to land on ZU23 crew.”

“Even if the troops had not shot it down, the aircraft would have still crashed on the ground because its wheels were not ready to land,” the report reads.

The statement further adds that with the erratic behaviour of the plane, they concluded that it was suspected to be a suicide bomber and was attempting to find a spot to crash into and take out troops.

This, they stated, had been justified by its erratic behaviour and continuous fly-bys over the Forward Operating Base (FOBs) and exacerbated by the communication breakdown.

“The incident was performed by non-Amisom troops of Ethiopia, which will require mutual collaborative investigation team from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya to further understand the truth,” the statement concluded.

The African Express plane was carrying five passengers, three of them being Kenyans and two Somali citizens.


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