East African Express E120 at Berdale on May 4th 2020, aircraft shot down by Ethiopian troops
Last Update: May 9, 2020 / 17:49:53 GMT/Zulu time
The Transport Minister of Southwest Region of Somalia reported there were no survivors.
Ethiopian troops operating and guarding the airport in the civil war stricken area secured the crash site.
The airline reported the aircraft was shot down 5km from the airport in Bardale. The aircraft had flown from Mogadishu via an intermediate stop in Baidoa to Berdale (Baardale).
Kenyan Security Forces reported the aircraft was downed by a rocket propelled grenade launched from the area of Berdale. Al Shabab rebel forces can not be ruled out.
An Ethiopian journalist on site claims without providing evidence, the rocket propelled grenade was launched by Ethiopian troops.
Somalia's President promised his Kenyan counterpart that Somalia is going to conduct a thorough investigation into the crash of the Kenyan Aircraft.
Somalia's officials report the aircraft was shot down. A projectile fired from the ground hit the aircraft. Berdale Airport is a base for Ethiopian Military under the multinational African Union Mission Somalia (AMISOM) combating al Qaeda linked Al Shabab extremist forces.
AMISOM, with main contributors of military personal by Kenya and Ethiopia, welcomed the decision by the leaders of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia to jointly investigate the accident.
On May 9th 2020 a prelimnary report filed by AMISOM stated Ethiopian troops at Berdale admitted they shot down the aircraft on mistaken identity. The troops at Berdale Airfield did not know abuot the arrival of the aircraft and judged the aircraft's unusual flight path at low altitude to be a potential suicide mission seeking a target to attack and shot the aircraft down. AMISOM further reports the Ethiopian troops at Berdale were not part of AMISOM but Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), which raises legal questions on their presence in Somalia.
According to a local source the Berdale Airfield is located at coordinates N3.2170 E43.1767 elevation about 1320 feet MSL about 53km/28nm westnorthwest of Baidoa, the crash site is at coordinates N3.2403 E43.2114.
On May 8th 2020 Somalia's Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID) reported the crash site at coordinates N3.2120 E43.2084 and confirmed Berdale Airfield at coordinates N3.2170 E43.1767.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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