News BlogCentral Southern Africa

Crash of a UN plane in Congo: 32 dead including 2 Belgians (MAJ)

(credit: MONUSCO)

(BRUSSELS2/update: 20 p.m.) A wide variety of figures have been circulated. But the results are now final. 32 people – crew, peacekeepers and international experts – died Monday in the accident at Kinshasa international airport of a plane chartered by the United Nations mission in Congo (MONUSCO). 33 people were on board (29 passengers and 4 crew members). Only 1 – a young Congolese officer – survived. But he is in critical condition (in a coma according to the latest indications).

The circumstances of the accident remain to be clarified. The black boxes are under review. The accident occurred around 14 p.m. local time when the plane was landing, while the weather conditions were not optimal (heavy rain). The Bombardier CRJ-100 or CRJ -200 type aircraft from Airzena airlines (the Georgian company) came from Goma (North Kivu) via Kisangani (Oriental Province). It crashed and dislocated into several pieces scattered on the track.

Among the victims: 2 Belgians, 1 ACF France employee, the head of the UNOCI electoral mission...

According to the “manifesto” (the list of passengers on the plane) that B2 was able to consult (*), several electoral experts were on the trip, 2 agents from the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), two UNDP agents, several MONUC experts (military, police, aviation, etc.), NGO agents (International Rescue Committee, ACF France). As for nationalities, we can confirm the deaths of 4 Georgians and Armenians (the crew), 3 South Africans, 1 Senegalese, 1 Haitian, 1 Guinean, 2 Bengali soldiers, several Congolese and 2 Belgians.

The deaths of the Belgians were confirmed by the Belgian Ministry of the Interior and Foreign Affairs. Senior Commissioner, Kristina Bonnez joined the Belgian police in 1982. She notably participated in the EU mission in Sudan in 2006, in the police assistance team (EUPAT) of the AMIS mission. The second Belgian is Jeroen Bervoets, son of the former secretary general of Agalec (the Flemish green party).

Among the victims also included: Ahmedou El Becaye Seck, the former head of the electoral mission in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), Dr Touré, specialist in infant mortality and reproduction (for ICR) as well as, apparently he, a former Congolese vice-governor.

(*) According to current practice, we do not give the identity of people before this name has been publicly confirmed by official or family sources.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).