An Ethiopian military helicopter with 23 passengers on board has crashed on Saturday inside the compound of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) killing three of its crew members.
The MI-8 helicopter was on routine operation carrying Ethiopian troops on rotation from Kadugli to Abyei when it crashed. Ten passengers were injured, and two are in critical condition at the UNISFA Level II hospital in Abyei, South Sudan.
The immediate cause of the crash is not yet known.
UNISFA’s acting Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Gebre Adhana Woldezgu said, “We are investigating the incident.”
“We are deeply saddened by what happened this afternoon. We are extending our condolences to the families of those who died in the crash,” Major General Woldezgu said.
The helicopter flew from Kadugli for the Mission’s regular troop rotation. UNISFA’s sole troop contributing country Ethiopia is currently rotating its soldiers from Kadugli to different sites in the Abyei area.
Ethiopia has around 4,500 personnel on the ground to support UNISFA’s efforts of ensuring peace and security in Abyei.