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Ugandan Parliament to Look Into Doomed Garang Flight


In Uganda, an opposition parliamentarian says he will be looking into the cause of the plane crash last week that killed Sudanese vice president and former rebel leader John Garang. The plane went down in bad weather over Sudanese airspace after taking off from Entebbe International Airport in Uganda.

Parliamentarian Aggrey Awori is a member of the Uganda People’s Progress Party and a member of several parliamentary committees, including the Presidential and Foreign Affairs Committee, the Committee of Defense and Internal Affairs, and the Commitee on Works and Communications. Mr. Awori says the three will investigate the crash.

He told English to Africa reporter William Eagle that the Ugandan government does not seem to have followed proper procedures with regard to the doomed flight. He says, for example, that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) allowed the plane to leave even that evening even though rules bar rotary aircraft such as helicopters from taking off after 5 pm. Mr. Awori is also looking into whether the craft and control tower kept in contact with each other, as mandated by government procedures.

A CAA official told VOA that such rules only apply to civilian aircraft – and not to the presidential helicopter carrying Mr. Garang. The Ugandan government also says the flight contained safety devices for determing poor weather conditions.

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