More UN plane crash victims named as investigation into cause continues

Wreckage of UN aircraft at N’Djili International Airport in Kinshasa, DRC

7 April 2011 – The United Nations has released the names of another 24 victims from Monday’s deadly plane crash in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in which only one of 33 people aboard a UN plane survived.

The UN investigation into the crash – which occurred as the plane was attempting to land in heavy rain and high winds at the main airport in the capital, Kinshasa, after a flight from Kisangani – is continuing.

The General Assembly held a minute’s silence today in honour of the victims of the crash, as well as UN staff recently killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire and Haiti.

UN officials have been notifying the next of kin of the Kinshasa victims after identifying all the bodies. All four crew members and 28 out of 29 passengers died in the crash.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) lost 14 staff members, while staff working for the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) also lost their lives.

The death toll also includes non-UN staff, including employees of the DRC Government, the Congolese electoral commission, the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and contractor Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE).

Three UN Volunteers (UNVs) working for MONUSCO were among the victims: Carlos Manuel Bastos de Barros of São Tomé and Principe, who served as an electoral logistics officer; Jeroen Bervoets, a management assistant from Belgium; and Esinam Safo, an air operations assistant from Ghana.

The mission lost two military personnel from Bangladesh – Major K.M. Ziaul Haque and Corporal Md Younus Meah – and an Ivorian UN Police (UNPOL) officer, Hyacinthe Die Vany.

The other MONUSCO staff named included: Kadiatouo Thiero, an administrative assistant from Mali; Gracia Jonas Maforikan, an electoral officer from Benin.

Five national staff working for various UN entities died: driver Alain Kipala Bangila (MONUSCO); nurse John Shebitu Mbembo (MONUSCO); database assistant Henri Badila Diangituka (OCHA); human resources assistant Numbi Kabange (OCHA); and logistics assistant Augustin Kasonga (WFP).

Two members of UNDP’s electoral team did not survive – Blé Kacouchia, a chief technical advisor from Côte d’Ivoire, and Oumar Dia, an operations manager from Mauritania.

UNOPS lost Jonas Somé, a physical security and stockpile management adviser from Burkina Faso, and Petrus Van Vuuren, a senior medical coordinator from South Africa.

The Independent National Electoral Commission of the DRC lost two staff members, named as Lubacha Gustave Bianumba and Mwanaomba Shabani. Mendes Masudi, an adviser to the Congolese Foreign Minister, was also killed.

The non-UN staff who died included two contractors with PAE – Jaco Dorfling and Randall Quickfall. Also killed were Boubacar Toure, a senior reproductive health adviser for the IRC; and Alain Lubamba Kongolo, a field operations liaison coordinator for the ICC.


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UN names some of the victims of deadly plane crash in DR Congo

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