Ministry of Transport directed to audit planes
The Council of Ministers has directed the Minister of Transport Madut Biar to ensure all planes operating in South Sudan are properly checked to eradicate incidences of plane crashes in the country.
The directive was given to the Minister on Friday during the regular meeting of the ministers and the presidency. The cabinet got the chance to discuss national issues after which Mr Biar presented the report of the Antonov 26 plane that crashed in the outskirts of Juba on November 2, killing all five passengers on board.
Michael Makuei, the Minister of information told the media that some of the planes that are operating in South Sudan are not worth flying in other countries but they somewhere get to the airspace in South Sudan. He described them as dangerous.
“Some of them are not flying all over except in South Sudan and this is very dangerous so the Minister has been directed to ensure that all planes that are flying here in South Sudan are secured planes. This is for the security of our people and our reputation as well,” he said.
While briefing the media, Makuei said the minister reported to the cabinet that he had already formed a committee to investigate circumstances that led to the crashing of the Antonov plane shortly after it took off from Juba International Airport this week.
“He is fully authorised to follow up the implementation and at the same time, he should also make sure that all planes that are operated in South Sudan are properly checked,” Makuei reported.
According to the preliminary report, the plane was loaded with fuel destined for Maban County and just after taking off, it crashed in Gondokoro East of Juba.
There were five people on board. They included two crew members from Sudan who were brought to come and fly the plane, two Russians and one South Sudanese who worked for Hush Company. All of them died.
Speaking to The City Review on a fateful day, the director of Juba International Airport Kur Kuol said: “All the four crew members plus the owner of the cargo got killed…no one survived”.
He further said that investigation was underway to ascertain what may have caused the crash.
“We do not know what happened but right now the airport investigation team is on the ground to find out what went wrong,” he said.
The accident adds to a long list of deadly plane crashes that have been witnessed in South Sudan, prompting calls for investigation on the safety of the airspace and the planes cleared to ply the domestic routes.
In March this year, at least 10 people, including the two pilots, died when a plane crashed at an airstrip, Pieri Village, in Jonglei state.
On May 21, 2021, the South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) temporarily banned all airlines in the country from operating pending further investigations and instructions that accept UN and Military aircraft, the Antonov An-26.