3 UPDF Choppers Missing in Kenya

2791 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Media reports from Kenya indicate that three Ugandan attack helicopters crashed in Kenya on Sunday as they flew to Somalia to shore up the final attack on the port city of Kismayu.

Media reports from Kenya indicate that three Ugandan attack helicopters crashed in Kenya on Sunday as they flew to Somalia to shore up the final attack on the port city of Kismayu.

The Kenyan media are quoting reports from the country’s Department of Defense as saying that two of the helicopters crashed while the third one crash-landed. The Standard newspaper posted on its Twitter account @StandardKenya on Monday morning that the missing MI-23 choppers were sighted dismantled in Mount Kenya and Meru areas.

There are still conflicting reports about the territory where the helicopters went off radar on Sunday evening after leaving Uganda for Somalia, where the country has a 7000-strong force as part of the African Peace-keeping mission, AMISOM. Some of the reports said it happened within the Kenyan airspace, while other reports said it was inside Somalia.

The Daily Nation of Kenya quotes military sources as saying that another helicopter made a crash-landing in Somalia.
The Kenyan Defence Forces spokesperson Col. Cyrus Oguna also told the same paper that he was aware Ugandan military was to send helicopters to Mogadishu but however could not independently verify if they had disappeared.

The Ugandan military together with the Kenyan army were expected to make   a final attack on the port city of Kismayu in the continued fight against Al-shabab militants.

The helicopters were set to act as cover for combat troops and were commissioned for action on Thursday by the Chief of Defence Forces Gen. Aronda Nyakairima.

The Ugandan military together with the Kenyan army were expected to make a final attack on the port city of Kismayu in the continued fight against Al-shabab militants.

Of the 4 helicopters that left Entebbe, Uganda on Sunday, only one of them is reported to have landed in the Kenyan town of Wajir from where it set off for Somalia but made a crash landing at one of the sites next to the Mogadishu military base.

It is still early to get information on the whereabouts of the soldiers on board, but Uganda's army spokesperson Col Felix Kulayigye told Uganda Radio Network that each of the choppers had five Air Force commandos heading for combat operations.