March 12, 2019 21:05:40
The crash killed 157 people including luminaries from literature and archaeology. (ABC News)
When the plane plummeted into the ground just six minutes after take-off, killing all 157 people on board, the world was “united in grief”, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said.
Speaking at an environment summit where many passengers were due to arrive, he paid homage to those lives lost.
“They all had one thing in common — a spirit to serve the people of the world and to make it a better place for us all,” he said.
These are some of their stories.
The number of UN staff members and aid workers from other agencies on board may have been higher than usual because of a week-long conference convened by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in Nairobi, which opened on Monday.
The dead included Joanna Toole, a British woman working as a fisheries consultant for the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, and Victor Tsang, a Hong Kong native who worked in Nairobi for the UNEP.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the organisation was in mourning.
“Our colleagues were women and men — junior professionals and seasoned officials — hailing from all corners of the globe and with a wide array of expertise,” Mr Guterres said.
His mother, Christine Ryan, told Irish broadcaster RTE “he never wanted a 9 to 5 job”.
“He put everything into his work,” she said.
Also among the dead were four Catholic Relief Services employees from Ethiopia.
Another Ethiopian was Tamirat Mulu Demessie, a technical adviser on child protection in emergencies for Save the Children who “worked tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable children are safe during humanitarian crises,” the group said in a statement.
Sarah Auffret, a staffer for the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, was on the way to Nairobi to talk about a Clean Seas project in connection with the UN Environment Assembly this week, the company said in a statement.
Sarah Auffret was an Arctic marine environmental leader. (AP: AECO)
Literature, archaeological and botany laureates
A fellow writer, the Nigerian satirist Elnathan John, said his friend had recently been injured in a car accident.
“He was still limping a bit,” Mr John said on Twitter.
“He told me how lucky he was to survive his car crash. He loved his hotel. We laughed about dressing alike.”
Glato Kodjo, a professor of Botanical Studies at the University of Lomé in the west African nation of Togo, and two lecturers at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Agnes Kathumbi and Isaac Mwangi Minae, were also reported killed.
Mr Getachew sent out a distress call seeking permission to return shortly after taking off.
In total, nine Ethiopians were killed.
Kenya lost the most nationals
Hussein Swaleh, the former secretary general of the Football Kenya Federation, was named among the dead by Sofapaka Football Club.
He was returning home after working as the match commissioner in an African Champions League game in Egypt on Friday.
Cedric Asiavugwa, who studied international business and economic law at Georgetown University in Washington, was on his way to Nairobi after the death of his fiancee’s mother, the university said in a statement.
According to Georgetown’s website, he was passionate about social justice and refugees, and he helped found an organisation to protect vulnerable women and children fleeing war in Somalia.
He also described himself as an ardent support of Manchester United.
She took on her role “with great enthusiasm”. It says she was married, with a daughter.
March 12, 2019 08:33:20