Ethiopia admits shooting down Kenyan plane carrying medical supplies in Somalia

May 12, 2020 (GMN) - Ethiopia admitted it was behind the shooting down of a privately owned Kenyan plane in Somalia earlier this week, resulting in the deaths of all six people on board.

The plane was shot down by Ethiopian troops protecting a camp in the town of Bardale in southwestern Somalia, the Ethiopian army said in a statement to the African Union (AU).

The aircraft had been carrying humanitarian and medical supplies to help the country fight the spread of coronavirus when it went down in Bardale, about 300km (180 miles) northwest of Somalia's capital Mogadishu.

The Ethiopian soldiers mistakenly believed the plane was on a "potential suicide mission" because they had not been informed about the "unusual flight" and the aircraft was flying low, the statement said.

"Because of lack of communication and awareness, the aircraft was shot down," the military said. "The incident … will require mutual collaborative investigation team from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya to further understand the truth."

Kenya expressed shock over the incident earlier this week, saying the plane's mission had been to aid Somalia in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.