The Nigerian military has released the detained Russian
cargo plane which they seized on Saturday after
France admitted ownership of the aircraft yesterday.
It said that the flight was covered by a diplomatic
clearance given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Abuja, noting that the Autonov 124 Russian
commercial plane was forced to land at the Kano
airport because of dense air traffic at Ndjamena
A statement from the French Ambassador to Nigeria,
Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, on Sunday, stated that
the Antonov plane had to divert to an alternate international
airport and the closest airport facility being Kano, the
Russian crew decided to fly there, to refuel, and to take off
again to reach Njamena Airport.
He denied that the plane was carrying arms and
ammunition, stressing that it was conveying two light
Gazelle helicopters, spare parts and maintenance items
belonging to the French Army.
Labriolle further explained that due to the nationality of the
aircraft, and the nature of the cargo, airport authorities in
Kano, decided to check the flight plan, the clearance and the
cargo manifest before authorizing the plane to leave.
Source: Sahara Reporters