By Cecilia Ologunagba
UN on Monday paid tribute to the victims of Malaysia Arlines flight MH17 nine years after the tragic plane crash occurred in eastern Ukraine.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17/MAS17) was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down by Russian-controlled forces on July 17, 2014, while flying over eastern Ukraine.
All 283 passengers and 15 crew were killed.
Contact with the aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, was lost when it was about 50 km from the Ukraine-Russia border, and wreckage from the aircraft fell Hrabove on Donestk Oblast, Ukraine, 40 kilometres from the border.
The shoor-down occurred during the war in Donbas over territory controlled by Russian Separatist forces.
“Today marks the ninth anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, in which 298 innocent lives were lost,” UN Spokesperson Stephanie Dujarric told journalists at UN headquarters in New York.
He said the past year marked an important milestone in the search for truth and justice following the important work of the independent Joint Investigation Team, including the conviction of three individuals by a court in the Netherlands in November 2022.
In full solidarity with the families of the victims, the Spokesperson said the secretary-general renewed his call on all States to extend their full cooperation pursuant to Security Council resolution 2166 that was passed in 2014 to ensure that those responsible are held to account.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Dutch Safety Board’s final report on the crashed MH17 was released.
Known as an “accident investigation Final Report,” the document summarises findings and provides recommendations on the technical investigation conducted under the international requirements established by the Concention on Intrnational Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention.
It concluded that the Boeing was “shot down over the eastern part of Ukraine, where an armed conflict broke out in April 2014,” killing all 298 people on board. (NAN)