Earlier, the mission confirmed that one of its helicopters had crashed near Bentiu, the capital of the Unity state where government troops have been fighting with rebels led by former Vice President Riek Machar.
“The United Nations Mission in South Sudan confirms that one of its MI-8 helicopters has crashed about 10 km south of Bentiu in Unity State,” the mission said. [eap_ad_1] UNMISS reported losing contact with the helicopter, which was on a routine cargo flight from Wau to Bentiu at 14:28 hours on Tuesday.
The mission dispatched a search and rescue team to the site of the incident and added that “Investigations regarding the cause of the incident will begin as soon as possible.”
A local official told Xinhua that the helicopter was targeted by the rebels, but this has not been confirmed by the South Sudanese government nor the UN mission.
“The UN helicopter was shot down with a rocket-propelled grenade,” said the official, who refused to disclose his name because he was not authorized to speak to media.
The incident took place only one day after the South Sudanese government and the rebels reached a fresh truce in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), who mediated the truce, gave the warring parties 45 days to reach an agreement on the formation of a transitional government of national unity.