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MPs Want Chopper Crash Probe Team Reconstituted

Amodoi Imalingat, the Toroma County MP and a former UPDF officer, says the probe is likely not yield any results given that there have been numerous investigations whose findings have not been made public.

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Parliament resumed from a three-week break with legislators itching for answers for the multiple chopper crash that occurred in Kenya two weeks ago.

 

Three helicopters en-route to Somalia crashed on Mt. Kenya leaving seven Air Force servicemen dead and another 21 soldiers nursing injuries. The MPs want the probe team headed by General Salim Saleh reconstituted.

Simon Mulongo, Bubulo East MP says the Defence Ministry statement to parliament fell short of so many issues that needed to be made public. The MP demanded to know the role of African Union and United Nations in the memorandum of understanding signed with Uganda. He also wanted details of the UN involvement in preparing the equipment and personnel for the Somali mission. Mulongo says this information if availed would help Uganda know the terms of compensation for both equipment and dead soldiers.

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Amodoi Imalingat, the Toroma County MP and a former UPDF officer, says the probe is likely not to yield any results given that there have been numerous investigations not made public. Amodoi participated in the 2008 Operation Lightening Thunder in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where two pilots died and investigations have not been made public. He wants a fresh team to investigate the accidents.

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Lwemiyaga County legislator Theodore Ssekikubo says a crash of such magnitude only requires the Ministers of Defence to resign. He also questioned the leadership of the probe led by General Saleh. Saleh was implicated for receiving bribes to award a contract for helicopter purchase in the Justice Julia Ssebutinde report released in 2001. Ssekikubo says it’s time that Uganda re-examined its agenda on International Missions such as Somalia.

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According to General Jeje Odong, the State Minister for Defence, a UN resolution authorized the deployment of air assets. The UN Security Council resolution 2036 was divided into four sections: A, B, C, and D. Section A is Mogadishu and the surrounding areas. Section B is Central Somalia, Section C is Southern Somalia and D is Northern Somalia. This means that the contributing countries have a section to deploy with Uganda deploying in Mogadishu.

Odong insists that given the achievements registered by African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM), it was only logical that Uganda accepted to deploy air assets in pursuant to resolution 2036. He urged MPs to be calm and wait for the outcome of the probe.

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