Kenyan doctors arrested in South Sudan over fistfight on plane

Handcuffs

Cuffs

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Two Kenyan aid workers are being held in north western South Sudan for engaging in a fistfight aboard a flight last weekend.

Police in Aweil, the capital city of Northern Bahr el Ghazal region, some 780 kilometres north of Juba, on Thursday told nation.africa that Mr Nicholas Wamwangi, 30, and Kelvin Kimani, 29, were still being held in remand.

The two employees of Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) had boarded a Kush Airline plane from Juba International Airport and were arrested upon landing at Aweil airstrip on March 12.

“The two aid workers, believed to be gynaecologists, were arrested on Saturday last week,” said Captain Guot Guot Akol, the police spokesperson in Northern Bahr El Ghazal.

“According to information from one of the passengers, they started fighting when the Kush Airlines plane left Juba until it landed in Aweil, and again, fought in front of police at the airstrip.”

Five days later, police say, it is not yet clear what sparked the exchange of blows that caused panic among passengers on board, with plane crew scrambling to inform police and aviation authorities.

“We are yet to hear from the organisation that sent them. But we have processed their documents and presented them to Interpol, which will now investigate the case in collaboration with our Immigration Department,” said Captain Akol

“However, on Wednesday, the chairman of Kenya Association came to us and he is following the case amiably,” he added without giving details.

Police have since established that the two suspects were drunk during the mid-air fistfight, according to the spokesman.

Nation.Africa’s efforts to reach the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) for comment did not bear fruit as calls went unanswered.

Norwegian Church Aid is a Norway based humanitarian and ecumenical organisation with headquarters in Oslo.

It was traditionally affiliated with the state Church of Norway, but is now independent.

“Norwegian Church Aid works with people and organisations around the world in their struggle to eradicate poverty and injustice,” it says on its website.

“We help those whose needs are greatest, regardless of ethnicity, creed, political or religious affiliation”.

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