Ethiopia used military planes to fly passengers during civil war, says Amnesty

This article is over 1 year old Officials say military staff carrying weapons were also on board but few details released on route, firm’s origins and destination Ethiopia used its flagship commercial airline to…

Ethiopia used military planes to fly passengers during civil war, says Amnesty

This article is over 1 year old

Officials say military staff carrying weapons were also on board but few details released on route, firm’s origins and destination

Ethiopia used its flagship commercial airline to transport military personnel during the years of conflict in eastern Tigray, according to evidence from air traffic control data published by Amnesty International.

The civil war began in 1984 and killed tens of thousands. It ended in a peace deal in 1991 but renewed fighting erupted in 2009.

In its report on the conflict on Monday, Amnesty cites aircraft surveillance from March-November 2008.

“It is not known what weapons and ammunition were being carried by these military personnel,” it said.

The report said officials would not be immediately available for comment and it did not provide a source for the information.

“Ethiopia has yet to justify why it took delivery of the state-of-the-art Addis Ababa-based airlines at a time when there were sporadic fighting throughout the country,” said Africa director Neil Sammonds.

“Not only are Ethiopian officials wasting valuable government funding on a luxurious airline but they are also depriving the public of air services and their future flights could be severely disrupted, causing serious damages to businesses and passengers,” he said.

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