A pilots association has protested the detention of two Kenyan pilots in South Sudan after their plane was involved in an accident.
The Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) said that it was concerned by the continued detention of two Kenyan Pilots following an accident involving a Cessna Caravan aircraft, 5Y – FDC, in South Sudan on 7th January 2018.
The two Pilots Captain Frank Njoroge and Kennedy Shamalla have been in captivity for more than three weeks, following the plane crash in Akobo, in the Greater Nile Region.
Press reports indicating that their release would only be secured through the payment of Sh20 million as compensation for the losses suffered as a result of the plane crash in the rebel-controlled territory.
“While we appreciate that compensation would be a natural requirement in the face of human and property losses, the continued captivity of the two Kenyan Pilots is in total contravention of their human rights and poses a potential risk to their health and wellbeing,” KALPA acting Chief Executive Murithi Nyagah said in a statement.
KALPA said that in line with the laws governing commercial aviation practice, there are laid out mechanisms for resolving disputes and advancing conversations on compensation, and the two Pilots should not bear the brunt of this unfortunate incident.
“We place a premium on the safety and well being of our colleagues. Against this backdrop, we call on the Government of Kenya, and all other parties involved in the negotiations with the Government of South Sudan, to fast-track the immediate release of the two Pilots,” KALPA said.
The association asked all Kenyan Commercial and Chartered Flight Operators to withhold flights into and within South Sudan until the pair is released and security of Kenyan-registered aircraft within South Sudan airspace is guaranteed.