Somali President orders probe into Bardale air crash

Wednesday May 06 2020

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed alias Farmaajo has ordered investigation into the Bardale plae cash involving a Kenyan airplane. PHOTO | FILE | AFP

The Federal Government of Somalia started an investigation into a plane that crashed on Monday near the airstrip of Bardale town in Bay region, about 275 kilometres southwest of the capital Mogadishu.

The light aircraft belonged to African Express, a Kenya-based commercial airline.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed alias Farmaajo on Tuesday ordered immediate investigations into the crash that killed six people on board.

He also made a telephone call to President Uhuru Kenyatta to express his regret and convey condolences for the deaths.

Reports indicate that a high level technical team was sent by the Somali Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation to the crash site to investigate what caused the terrible incident, amid reports that it may have been shot down.

Somalia has also extended an invitation to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) to investigate the crash.


“Six people are reckoned to have died as a result of the incident, but so far five bodies [have been] recovered,” Transportation Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Salad told the media.

Professor Abdurahman Adan Ibbi, a Somali parliamentarian and shareholder of African Express, told independent broadcaster Al-Risaala that the plane that crashed near Bardale’s airstrip was hit by a missile.

Mr Ibbi said that they do not have all the facts and are waiting for the State to investigate the matter.

“It is true that the aircraft was hit when it started descending towards the airstrip. We do not know precisely what happened, thus we wait for the government investigation,” He said.

“Those who died were two pilots, a flight engineer, two crew members and a person accompanying the cargo on the plane,” he added.


Meanwhile, Mr Farmaajo had a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday where he conveyed his deep thanks for Turkey’s continued assistance to Somalia, especially for medical aid to fight the coronavirus Covid-19.

This comes after a second consignment of medical supplies reached Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport via a Turkish Army airplane.

This is the second supply of medical equipment within a week that comprises testing kits, ventilators, medication, face masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases jumped to 722 on Monday.