Ethiopian troops have admitted that they shot down the Kenyan plane from African Express after it flew so low that they suspected Al Shabaab was trying to conduct a suicide mission with it.
According to Sector Three Commander Brigadier General Alemu Ayene, there was no information that the plane was scheduled to fly to Bardaale and the Ethiopian forces didn’t find ways of communicating with it.
It’s not clear why the Ethiopian forces were not aware of the flight which was authorized by the Somalia Civil Aviation Authority.
Somalia authorities close to the investigations have indicated that the plane was shot very close to the ground that three of the six crew members didn’t die on impact. The three who survived were reportedly shot at close range by the Ethiopians to ensure that only a single narrative would sell.
The African Express flight 711 with registration 5Y AXO was hit by a truck-mounted rocket-propelled grenade while landing in Bardaale on 4th May.
Kenyan and Somalia leaders ordered for immediate and thorough investigations into the incident which also saw the death of Captain Hassan Bulhan who is the son of Captain Musa Hassan Burhan, the owner of African Express.
Out of the 6 crew members, four were Kenyans while 2 were Somali.
AU Mission in Somalia headquarters blamed the shooting on the pilot who was landing West-East and not East-West as all normal landings. The commander said the plane almost landed on ZU 23 crew, believed to a military contingent based in Bardaale.