MOSCOW, December 28 (Itar-Tass) — South Sudan may turn to Russia for help to investigate the killing of the Russian pilots, South Sudanese Ambassador in Moscow Chol Deng Alak told a press conference on Friday.
“We will do our best to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation in this tragic incident,” the ambassador noted. If necessary South Sudan can turn to Russia and other parties concerned for help in the investigation, he said.
Meanwhile, the diplomat voiced confidence that “those to blame for this will face justice.” “On our part, we are seriously concerned to find what really happened there,” Chol Deng Alak said.
Meanwhile, he noted that the issue of compensations to the families of the killed Russian pilots will be determined after the investigation. “Upon the results of the investigation we will turn to the terms of the agreement between the UN Mission and South Sudan that holds what is happening in such cases, so who will make the payment of compensations and what their sum will be,” the ambassador remarked.
The diplomat noted that the UN Mission did not inform the country’s authorities about the flight of the Russian helicopter.
“The manoeuvres of the troops and aircraft should be made at the preliminary request with the authorities and the army of South Sudan,” the diplomat said. “To make a flight, the data about the itinerary, the mission of the flight and its cargo should be submitted in the People’s Army of Liberation of South Sudan. Unfortunately, the UN Mission did not fulfil these procedures,” he said. The ambassador noted that the cases of the illegal operation of the rebels by the airplanes, which were painted white with the UN symbols for weapon supplies, became more frequent in the region recently.
The helicopter Mi-8 with the Russian crew was hit down on December 21 near the settlement Likuangole (state Jonglei) in the Republic of South Sudan after the gunfire from the ground. The helicopter belonged to the Nizhnevartovskavia air company and worked under the contract with the UN Mission in South Sudan.