UN Panel fails to identify attackers of downed helicopter

New York, February 27, 2015 (SSNA) — A finding of the United Nations (UN) investigation into the downing of its aircraft in South Sudan has been released. However, the report failed to identify the people behind the attack.

A seven members UN team tasked to establish a fact of what went wrong and who is responsible for the shooting down of a Russian-owned UN peacekeeping helicopter which was brought down by anti-aircraft missile in August of 2014 falls short of naming the real attackers.

The United Nations Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, stated that the plane was downed probably by anti-aircraft missile before it crashed and that the identity of a group behind the attack of the copter could not be determined.

“There is a high probability that the helicopter was hit by anti-aircraft fire which caused mechanical failure and eventually leading to the crash,” Stephane Dujarric said.

The UN official also disclosed that a team mandated to establish the fact failed to do so, suggesting that the two warring factions of the volatile South Sudan were active in the area where the copter was brought down.

“But the seven-member panel was not able to identify the attackers…the firing could have come from either party,” Dujarric added.

On August 26, 2014, a UN copter was brought down in the northern part of the capital of the oil-rich Unity State, Bentiu, by unknown anti-aircraft. At least three crew members died when the airplane crashed.

After the helicopter was shutdown, South Sudanese government was quick to accuse Unity State-based rebel forces under the command of Major General Peter Gatdet Yak of shooting down the copter.

Gatdet denied the allegation, saying he has no hand in the downing of UN helicopter and that Juba could be the real assailant.

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