diagnosis http://crosscon.ca/wp-includes/class-wp-term-query.php geneva; font-size: small;”>The attack helicopters were flying through Kenya to Somalia when they suddenly tumbled down into the forests of Mt. Kenya, stomach killing seven experienced and highly trained Airforce soldiers.
Others survived with serious injuries.
The fallen soldiers were buried at their ancestral homes on Tuesday.
“Mountains cannot be a factor to serious operators. Weather can also not be accepted as a serious factor,” says Museveni in a statement issued on Saturday.
“If the weather is bad, you do not fly. These days the satellites are able to show the nature of weather all over the globe,” he adds.
The President’s remarks come just days after Kenya authorities attributed the crash to bad weather and pilot error, adding the mountain was hard to navigate.
This is the first time the President is speaking out following the chopper crash that rattled the region.
Below is the president’s full statement.
Dear widows & orphans of the UPDF Air-Force crash victims.
Up to now I have nothing to say about this tragedy because I am indignant and disappointed.
We have been painstakingly building the UPFD for the last 42 years. Starting with small numbers, we now have a Force of tens of thousands of officers, fighters and technical cadres backed by millions of reserve fighters or potential fighters.
The Air-Force has been built from scratch to a potentially formidable fighting Force. We have done all this at the Uganda Government cost because outsiders never fund armies in Africa, for most of the time, in any decisive way.
Yet, some of the actors we have delegated authority over the Army as per the Constitution, once in a while, act negligently or high-handedly resulting in unnecessary losses.
I am eagerly awaiting the outcome of the Gen. Saleh’s team Enquiry effort.
In the meantime I cannot listen to stories of bad weather of the Kenya Mountains. Mountains are clearly shown on maps.
We never fly over Mountains with helicopters, especially the combat ones.
Whenever I am going to Bundibugyo, my pilots always fly around the Rwenzori; they never fly over the Rwenzori. When we operated over the Imatong hills in South Sudan, we used MI-17 which have got a higher ceiling (6,000 metres i.e. slightly above 19,685 ft, depending on the weight of the aircraft).
Therefore, Mountains cannot be a factor to serious operators. Weather can also not be accepted as a serious factor.
If the weather is bad, you do not fly. These days the satellites are able to show the nature of weather all over the globe.
The MI-17 which was part of the formation is equipped with weather radar. It would have warned the formation so that they could not return to the Nanyuki Air-Force base of Kenya. I believe the Gen. Saleh Enquiry team will give actual truth so that this careless handling of our precious military personnel and equipment stops for ever.
The reason I came here is to assure you, our daughters, the wives of the departed fighters and orphans that UPDF and the Government of Uganda that I head will look after you within the limited means that you know.
Do not be anxious on that scope.
I thank you and please accept the most heartfelt condolences of the veterans of the National Resistance Movement headed by myself, the entire fraternity of UPDF, the Government and people of Uganda.