Annan 'outraged' after second UN plane downed in Angola
January 2, 1999
LUANDA, Angola (CNN) -- A cargo plane carrying United Nations workers from a violence-torn area of Angola was shot down Saturday, the second U.N. plane to go down in the area in the past eight days.
The plane had eight people on board: one American, a Namibian, two Filipinos and four Angolans. It was not immediately known if any survived.
Angola state radio said the plane was hit near Bailundo, a stronghold of Angola's UNITA rebels about 50 miles north of Huambo. The aircraft had been evacuating U.N. staff out of Huambo, which has been under attack from rebel forces.
U.N. spokesman Hamadoun Toure said the C-130 tried to return to Huambo after being hit but crashed in rebel-held territory.
In New York, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was "outraged" by the second crash of a U.N. plane in a week. On December 26, another U.N.-chartered plane, with 14 people on board, was crashed in the same area. U.N. officials have said they believe the first plane was also shot down.
"All threats to United Nations personnel -- in the air and on the ground -- must cease immediately," said Annan, who called on the Angolan government and the UNITA rebels to call an immediate cease-fire to conduct search-and-rescue missions at both crash sites and to evacuate all U.N. personnel.
"There can be no excuse for any delay on any side in disclosing all relevant information about the fate of the passengers and crews of the two U.N. aircraft," he said.
The Angolan government claims that UNITA rebels are holding survivors from the first crash, a charge the rebels deny.
The United Nations has a 1,000-member peacekeeping force in Angola to supervise 1994 peace accords designed to end more than two decades of civil war. That fragile peace has been crumbling over the past six months, as the country appears to be sliding toward civil war.
The U.N. Security Council has asked Annan to recommend by January 15 whether the peacekeepers should be withdrawn.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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