A plane from the UN Mission in Mali (Minusma) missed its landing on Monday at Gao airport, in northern Mali, and ended its run “off track”, leaving at least “six injured”, AFP learned from Minusma and a witness.
Much of the fuselage of the plane with the white cabin stamped with the UN logo, sank into waterlogged ground by recent rains, according to photos circulating on social networks and authenticated by the AFP.
The incident was not, however, “due to the weather” in Gao, said an official at Gao airport, without specifying if it was raining when it landed. ”One of our planes said landed this Monday off-piste in Gao. He came from Bamako. There are at least six injured ”, told AFP a Minusma official in Gao, the largest city in northern Mali, reached by phone from Bamako.
The identity of the wounded has not been specified. Flight “UNO 52P” left Bamako on Monday morning to arrive in Gao about two hours later with seven crew members on board, all of them Russians, told the company. ‘AFP another source at Munisma in Gao. Four passengers in the aircraft have not been identified.
The plane “made a forced landing” and “went off the runway,” confirmed Abdoulaye Maïga, an employee of an airport security company, who witnessed the accident. He said “slightly injured”.
The Minusma was deployed in July 2013 in Mali after the takeover of the north of this vast Sahelian country in 2012 by jihadist groups. With around 13,000 peacekeepers, it is one of the most important missions of the UN. His mandate was renewed for one year at the end of June by the UN Security Council.
With the French force in Sahel Barkhane and that of the G5 Sahel organization (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad), Minusma constitutes the main international anti-jihadist forces present in northern Mali.