Kenya wants urgent investigation of aircraft crash in Somalia

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Kenya called for an urgent investigation into the fatal crash of a private cargo aircraft in Somalia amid unconfirmed reports it may have been shot down.

The African Express Airways aircraft was ferrying supplies for the fight against coronavirus when it crashed in Bardale, in the southern Bay region, killing six.

“The government of Kenya urges the government of Somalia and international agencies to thoroughly and swiftly investigate because it impacts humanitarian operations at a time of high need,” a statement from Kenya’s foreign affairs ministry said.

A second statement said Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi ordered Somalia civil aviation authorities to work with Kenya on the investigation.

“President Farmajo invited the Kenyan civil aviation authorities to team with their Somalia counterparts to complete the investigation expeditiously,” the foreign affairs ministry said.

Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked insurgency al Shabaab has a presence where the aircraft came down, although Bardale and its airfield is secured by Somali forces and Ethiopian troops.

Somalia’s Transport Minister Mohamed Salad declined to speculate on the cause of the crash, but a former defence minister told Reuters he spoke to a witness at the airfield who said it may have been shot down.

A spokesman for the Ethiopian army said earlier he was unaware of the crash.