Statement on the helicopter accident

Tuesday 14th August 2012
Minister For State For Defence

The Ministry of Defence wishes to inform the whole country that our 03 Helicopters that were travelling to Somalia via Kenya had an accident on the evening of 12th August, 2012.

In the morning of Sunday 12th, 04 Helicopters, one Utility and 03 combat, left for Somalia for AMISOM duty. The route was Soroti – Eldoret – Nanyuki – Garisa, Wajir then Baidoa.While the utility helicopter made it to Garisa, the other 03 did not. As it has turned out, one of them made an emergency landing in the Mountains and sent a distress call to Nairobi between 7:00 and 8:00p.m. on Sunday evening. The other two that went missing have now been found.

The deployment of these aircrafts follows the UN Resolution 2036 that expanded the mission of AMISOM.The UN and AU asked Uganda to deploy Air Assets to support the mission in combat and casualty evacuation mainly in Sector A. Given the tremendous achievements registered by AMISOM, it was only logical that the government of Uganda obliged.Preparation for the assets lasted for more than three months. They were inspected by the UNSOA Airforce component and found to be airworthy.

The crew underwent UN training and they all passed the competence tests.Our Airforce personnel worked with their Kenyan colleagues to plan the routing and logistics within Kenya. Thus, the route approved was Soroti, Eldoret, Nanyuki, Garisa, Wajir and then Baidoa.The Kenya Military put all their personnel and assets at our disposal as soon as they received the distress call on Sunday evening.

Indeed the pilot and crew of the helicopter that landed in Kenya Mountains have been rescued and are safely in Nairobi. Another crew has been evacuated to Nanyuki.We want to express our appreciation to the Kenya Military and entire Leadership for their quick response and commitment to the search and rescue mission.We are making efforts to reach the families of those that are still missing as our hearts are with them.

We want to be as factual and as sensitive as possible so we appeal for calm as we continue to search for our comrades.His Excellency the president and Command-In-Chief has set up a Board of Inquiry led by Gen Saleh to investigate this unfortunate incident.We pledge to keep the country abreast of the development as we get them.

Odongo Jeje



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