This came after more than a month in captivity, two Kenyan pilots detained by rebels in South Sudan and were released on a $107,743 dollars consensation to the family of the dead family and finally head home.
This is after the government and the rebels agreed on the amount of money to be paid as compensation for loss of life and property when the Cessna Caravan registration number 5Y-FDC crashed in Akobo, in the Greater Upper Nile region of South Sudan, on January 7.
Following the crash, Captain Pius Frank Njoroge and co-pilot Kennedy Shamalla have been under the custody of Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) rebels who have been demanding Sh20 million compensation for the death of a woman and 11 cows in the accident.
The pilots and nine passengers suffered minor injuries. On Feb 20, 2018, Two Kenyan pilots held in South Sudan by the country’s rebel group returned to Nairobi Tuesday afternoon following their release from month-long captivity.
The pilots were released late Monday following intense negotiations by South Sudanese government officials and their counterparts from Kenya who accompanied them home.
The two were captured by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) after their plane crash-landed in a rebel-held area on January 7, killing one person and 11 cows.
The plane was said to have suffered a technical hitch a few minutes after takeoff in the Akobo rebel-held region near South Sudan’s border with Ethiopia, according to the Standard newspaper.
“The families of the detained pilots have suffered great emotional and psychological distress during the unacceptable long period of detention,” Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Monica Juma who was at hand to welcome them at Wilson Airport said.
“The Government of the Republic of Kenya deplores the unfriendly and inhumane response of the SPLM-IO to what was an unfortunate accident,” she said condemning “the capture and detention of our Kenyan pilots in the strongest possible terms.”
Ambassador Juma also thanked the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for aiding in securing the extradition of the pilots.
Captain Wachira, the owner of the plane told the media that US$107,743 was paid to secure the pilots’ release.
The Kenyan-owned plane was taking aid workers to the Akobo area to carry out an assessment on the food crisis in the area when it crashed, but none of the nine passengers on board suffered injuries.
The pilots suffered minor injuries.