Saturday, April 02, 2005

A Kyrgyz plane... in Rwanda?

Now, I never cease to be amazed by the wealth of surprises that often come at me from Africa, but this one is a bit special. I have reprinted the whole story here. Try to follow:

Strange Kyrgzstan Plane Lands At Entebbe, Kigali

Mystery surrounds an aircraft from the troubled central Asian nation of Kyrgzstan, which has landed at two airports in East Africa under unclear circumstances.

The plane was reportedly granted passage through Entebbe International Airport. Rwandan authorities say they have impounded the double registered plane, an Antonov28, Reg. No. EX 28811, registered in Kyrgzstan and the DR Congo, for violations of its airspace.

But the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Managing Director, Mr Ambrose Akandonda, said Wednesday that CAA has never cleared such a plane.

Akandonda said the Rwanda CAA was probably speaking about a different aircraft.

"The Antonov 28, which had sought transit through Entebbe to Bukavu and was granted was under a different registration number," Akandonda said on telephone.

He said the CAA granted landing permission through clearance No. CAA/UGA/031 22 005 173 on March 13 to an Antonov28 Reg. No. 9Q/Charlie echo sugar.

It arrived on March 21 and left Entebbe on March 25 for its final destination in Bukavu. He said he was not aware of the Antonov 28 EX28811 that the Rwandans were referring to.

"No information was given about that number (EX28811). All the documentation we have is about a 9 Quebec/charlie echo sugar," he told The Monitor yesterday.

"Of course going to Bukavu would require them to pass through Rwandan airspace so they had to seek permission before using it," Akandonda said.

According to the Managing Director of Rwanda CAA, Mr Aimable Nsengiyumva, the aircraft impounded in Kigali belongs to a Kyrgyzstan Company. It is reported to have first asked for emergency landing at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, which was granted, but later proceeded to Kigali and sought to land also for emergency reasons.

The authorities in Kigali, suspecting the plane was carrying contraband goods impounded it at Kanombe International Airport.

Sources in Kigali say there were at least eight people on board, described as well built.
Isn't this just marvelous? Especially when you find out that the Airplane the Ugandan CAA claims to have seen, the 9Q-CES, is actually registered in the UAE... Madness! I really wonder...

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