10 KDF soldiers hurt in Somalia aircraft crash

By Zadock Angira
Thursday, August 6th, 2020
KDF spokesperson Col Zipporah Kioko.
In summary

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has launched investigations following an incident where its aircraft crash-landed in Somalia on Monday evening, injuring 10 soldiers.

KDF spokesperson Col Zipporah Kioko said the double-engine aircraft had delivered supplies to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) troops when the incident at Dhobley Airstrip took place.

“All the 10 military personnel aboard the aircraft are at the Defence Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi in stable condition,” Kioko said in a statement.

She added an investigation team was already in Dhobley to establish the cause of the crash.

Sources in Somalia said some of the injured soldiers were transferred to Nairobi while others were moved to the Amisom hospital in Mogadishu.

The plane is reported to have been on a return trip after delivering supplies to the soldiers who are part of Amisom based in the Lower Juba region near the Kenyan border.

Copter crash

In another incident on July 13, 2020, two senior military officers perished in a helicopter crash at Kanyonga Village in Masinga, Machakos county.

Kioko had earlier told People Daily that the probe into the Masinga crash was ongoing. 

“Investigations began from the time they were on site. It might take time,” she said yesterday.

The two deceased officers, Major Jacob Agunda Adamba and Major Robert Mumu Ngombwa were experienced pilots who had served both in the Operation Linda Nchi and the Amisom.

They were also involved in the KDF counterinsurgency operations, particularly in providing aerial support to the ground troops.

About 4,000 Kenyan soldiers are serving under the Amisom and are responsible for Sector 2, comprising Lower and Middle Juba.

The latest incident is the third this year after a civilian plane registered as 5Y-VVU, operated by Kenya’s Bluebird Aviation, crashed on July 14 as it landed at Ugaas Khalif Airport in Beledweyne town in Hiiraan region of central Somalia.

An Amisom commander said then that three crew members aboard the plane, which was carrying food aid from Djibouti, were rescued while the food aid burnt down.

On May 4, a Kenyan plane carrying health supplies was mistakenly shot down by Ethiopian troops, killing six people on board.

Kenya launched Operation Linda Nchi on October 14, 2011, after gunmen seized tourists at the Coast, which the government saw as a threat to the country’s sovereignty as it targeted tourism, which is the nation’s economic lifeline.

Kenya’s incursion into southern Somalia started after the kidnapping of two Spanish women, who were working for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) at the Dadaab refugee camp.

The abductions were carried out by the militants who the troops said planned to push away under Operation Linda Nchi.

Two years later, the troops managed to take control of Kismayo port under Operation Sledge Hammer.

The troops have liberated many regions near Kenyan porous border.