In a disheartening revelation reported by the esteemed weekly publication Le Canard Enchaîné, the memorial dedicated to the 170 victims of the 1989 UTA DC10 plane crash in Niger has fallen victim to deliberate acts of vandalism. Located 500 kilometers from Agadez and Zinder, amidst the vast desert, the monument served as a poignant remembrance of the tragic event.
The deliberate destruction of this memorial, commemorating individuals of various nationalities who perished in the attack, has left the families in shock and dismay.
The memorial, situated in the eastern expanse of the termite massif near the Chadian border, prominently featured the DC10’s wing embedded in the ground, visible from miles away.
Sadly, what once stood as a solemn tribute has now been obliterated, perpetuating an act of malice towards the 170 victims hailing from Congo, Chad, Mali, France, and Algeria. On September 19, 1989, these individuals boarded the Brazzaville-Paris flight via N’Djamena.
Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, President of the UTA Flight Victims Association, expressed his astonishment and disapproval at the news. He stated, “I learned of this at the end of last month, receiving photos and a video from Tuaregs passing through the area, equally appalled.
I disseminated the information to the victims, and everyone was deeply shocked, especially considering the memorial’s non-political nature. It had garnered acceptance from families representing 18 nationalities, including 99 Africans aboard the ill-fated flight.”
The vandalized site’s images have sparked collective sorrow and bewilderment among the affected families. This reprehensible act not only diminishes the memory of those lost in the tragedy but also disrupts the unity achieved through the memorial, which transcended political boundaries.
The need for an understanding of the motives behind such a senseless act becomes all the more imperative as the international community mourns the desecration of a symbol meant to honor lives lost.