The UN family has received the news of the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed at 8:44 on Sunday morning with profound shock and dismay.
The Boeing 737 Max-8 crashed in Bishoftu, shortly after take off from Bole International Airport. “As the UN family, we are deeply saddened by all the lives lost in this tragedy. We have lost numerous members of staff from UN agencies. We have also learnt of losses in other international organizations as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, close friends and colleagues of the victims of this crash” said Ms. Vera Songwe, head of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The Sunday accident claims lives of 149 passengers and eight crew members who were on flight ET302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.
“The United Nations family is mourning the loss of our colleagues and friends, many of whom lost their lives carrying out their professional duties today. We will be reaching out to families and offering our support” Ms. Songwe said.
“On behalf of the entire UN leadership team, I urge everyone to remain sensitive to the families of the victims and avoid sharing names and images on social media” she urged.
“Our security and travel services in the entire UN system in Ethiopia are actively monitoring the situation and we will continue to keep everyone updated in the coming hours and days” said Ms. Songwe.
In memory of the 19 United Nations personnel killed in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 Sunday, UN family organizations in Addis Ababa also held a flag lowering ceremony this morning in front of the entrance of UN Conference Center.
In a related development, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, presents his heartfelt condolences to the families and friends who lost their beloved ones in that tragic accident.
“It is always shocking and sad news to hear of such an accident. It’s even more deeply affecting when it occurs in a country within our region and a flight route all familiar to us”, he said.
“I cannot seem to find words comforting enough to the families and friends of those who might have lost their lives in this tragedy”, the Executive Secretary continued.
He noted that the whole IGAD region and the world are today mourning. “As this tragedy is unfolding, I pray for the souls of those who have lost their lives to find eternal peace”, he concluded.