Somalia, Kenya agree to joint probe into crash of Kenyan registered aircraft in Bardale

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) with his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo at State House, Nairobi. PHOTO | PSCU

Somalia president Mohamed Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has reached out to his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta following the shooting down of a Kenyan registered aircraft in its airspace.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) with his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo at State House, Nairobi. PHOTO | PSCU

In a communique from Kenya’s foreign ministry, President Farmaajo expressed his regret and conveyed condolences after six people were killed following the incident.

Kenya had earlier asked Somalia to investigate “unclear circumstances” under which the light aircraft was shot down in Bardale area.

The cargo plane, operated by African Express, was carrying aid supplies for use in the fight against Covid-19.

Of the six who were in the Embraer 5Y-AXO plane belonging to African Express, two are Kenyan pilots and four Somali nationals.

During their phone call, President Farmaajo informed President Kenyatta that he had instructed Somalia’s Civil Aviation Authorities to immediately mount an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

He further extended an invitation to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) to team up with their Somalia counterparts to complete the investigations expeditiously.

“H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta thanked H.E. Farmaajo for the call and undertook to convey his condolences to the families of the two crew members who perished in the aircraft crash,” read part of the statement.

Eyewitnesses reported that the light Kenyan-registered aircraft appeared to have been shot down while it was landing.