Within weeks of a crash in Southern Sudan of a Beechcraft 1900 enroute from Wau to Juba, which claimed 20 lives including the Minister of Defense in the Government of Southern Sudan and high ranking SPLA officers, and within days of the Airbus A310 crash of Sudan Airways upon landing in Khartoum, which claimed about 30 lives, news is just breaking about yet another air crash of a flight from Khartoum to Juba.

A plane, reportedly of former Soviet Union make and belonging to Juba Air Cargo, apparently crashed not too far from Malakal in the morning hours while enroute to Southern Sudan’s capital of Juba, killing most of those on board, while a young man miraculously seems to have survived, according to the sketchy reports received so far. He is reportedly the one who alerted relatives in Khartoum by satellite phone who then in turn initiated a search and rescue mission. Weather at the time was reportedly bad with heavy thunderstorms sweeping the area.

It is not unusual for cargo planes in Africa to also carry some passengers on board, irrespective of the legality of such behavior and irrespective whether such passengers are insured or the airline is even licensed to carry passengers. In fact, in Congo and Sudan – but also other parts of Africa – this seems rather common practice, something aviation regulators now urgently need to look into if they really want to clean up the aviation industry and halt the never-ending series of air accidents.