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Incident with Bulgarian helicopter in South Sudan

Govt. Bulgaria
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On 26.01.2015, a helicopter operated by a Bulgarian air carrier working for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) made a forced landing near the town of Kadugli, the southern part of the Republic of Sudan. The helicopter was flying from Rumbek, Republic of South Sudan, to Khartoum, Republic of Sudan. The flight was cleared by the authorities of both Sudan and South Sudan.

Six Bulgarian nationals onboard were taken captive - three-member crew of the helicopter and three officers of the Bulgarian air carrier. They are being held by „Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North“ (SPLM-North), which is fighting against government forces in the area.

The government of Sudan has sent a military airplane to fly over the area. The airplane crew sighted the helicopter but did not notice any damage to it. According to the manager of the Bulgarian air carrier in Sudan, the six Bulgarians are safe and feeling well.

UN World Food Programme officials have contacted the Sudanese militant organization.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is keeping in constant touch with the Office of UN Secretary General, UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, the leadership of the UN World Food Programme and other UN agencies which are working with the Bulgarian government and doing everything for the Bulgarian captives to be released.