Home | News    Saturday 13 August 2005

Int’l experts start investigation on Garang crach

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KAMPALA, Aug 13, 2005 (Xinhua) — The international team of technical experts investigating the Ugandan presidential MI-172 helicopter crash on July 30 that killed Sudan’s former first vice-president John Garang and 12 other people has started work in Uganda, local press reported on Saturday.

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Colonel John Garang in April 1986 in southern Sudan. (AFP).

Ugandan Minister of Works John Nasasira was quoted by The New Vision as saying "We have more than 10 technical investigators from the United States, Russia, Kenya, Sudan and of course Uganda. They arrived in the country a couple of days ago. They are based in Entebbe. We are considering whether the United Nations should be part of this investigation. But we have started and are doing very well."

The ill-fated VIP version helicopter flew from President Yoweri Museveni’s home town of Rwakitura in southern Uganda via Entebbe before heading to Garang’s New Site headquarters in southern Sudan. It crashed on July 30 at night.

Nasasira told the newspaper on Friday that the government has also appointed a leadership panel to oversee the investigations. The panel is composed of several honorable ministers including Beatrice Wabudeya, minister of the office of the president; Ruhakana Rugunda, minister of internal affairs and himself.

"We are waiting for Sudan to put in place their leadership panel. Meanwhile, we are working. The technical team is investigating several leads. Among other things their task is to take the black boxes to Russia for opening to trace the cause of the crash," Nasasira said.

He declined to name these investigators. "We shall name them in a couple of days. Let them do their work first," he said.

A black box is a device that records information about an aircraft while in-flight and is a vital part in investigating causes of mishaps or accidents involving aircraft.

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