February 9, 2019 (ABYEI) – An Ethiopian military helicopter Saturday crashed inside the compound of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) killing three of its crew members.
In a statement released on Saturday, the UNISFA said there were 23 passengers on board when the chopper crashed at 13:10 pm. The helicopter flew from Kadugli for the Mission’s regular troop rotation.
Besides the three victims, ten passengers were injured with three in critical conditions, said the mission.
“The three who are in critical condition have been conveyed to Kadugli en route to Addis Ababa while those not in critical condition are being stabilized at the UNISFA Level II hospital in Abyei”.
The MI-8 helicopter was on routine operation carrying Ethiopian troops on rotation from Kadugli to Abyei when it crashed.
The immediate cause of the crash is not yet known.
“We are investigating the incident,” said UNISFA’s acting Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Gebre Adhana Woldezgu.
“We are deeply saddened by what happened this afternoon. We are extending our condolences to the families of those who died in the crash,” General Woldezgu further said.
UNISFA’s sole troop-contributing country Ethiopia is currently rotating its soldiers from Kadugli to different sites in the Abyei area.
Ethiopia has around 4,500 personnel on the ground to support UNISFA’s efforts of ensuring peace and security in Abyei.