THE Namibian police announced today that investigators have identified seven victims of the Mozambican air plane crash that killed all 33 people in Kavango East's Bwabwata National Park, last November.
"These identifications are based on fingerprint comparisons and this now brings the total to 16 loved ones who have been identified so far," police Deputy Inspector-General, Major-General James Tjivikua, announced at a media briefing.
Tjivikua said the latest identification was completed on 3 January 2014 and that the identifications represent citizens of five of the six nationalities who were on board.
"It is also important to note that loved ones identified to date were booked into seats in the front, middle and rear of the aircraft," he said.
Revelations of the latest identification come a month after an investigation that was completed in December last year found that the pilot of a Mozambican airliner deliberately brought the plane down.
Tjivikua said nine families of the 16 victims who have been identified have asked for their loved ones to be repatriated before the end of the process and these repatriations are under way.
He added that the remains of five have arrived back at their homes.
The police are optimistic that this is a positive indication that with complete records and reference DNA samples, they stand the best chance of being able to account for all 33 victims.
The plane, en route from Mozambique to Angola, went down in the deserted terrain of the Bwabwata Park, where Namibia turns into a narrow strip of land sandwiched between Botswana and Angola.