A plane carrying southern Sudan’s defense minister and a presidential adviser crashed Friday, killing all 21 people on board, state media reported.
Nineteen passengers and two crew members were killed when the plane went down in a remote Bahr Gazal region of southern Sudan, state-run SUNA news agency reported. Minister of Defense Dominic Dim Deng and Justin Yak, an adviser to the Southern Sudan president, were among the dead.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known.
A U.N.-operated radio station that broadcasts in the area, Mireya FM, reported the plane belonged to the Southern Sudan Air Connection company.
SUNA said the pilot radioed a control tower in the city of Rumbek just before the crash, requesting permission to land because one of the engines had technical problems. A few minutes later, the tower lost contact with the plane.
Southern Sudan has its own semiautonomous government after a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war between the ethnic African south and Sudan’s Arab-dominated government in the capital Khartoum.