Ethiopian Government’s deliberately set up to catch UN Plane in crossfire in midair

Ethiopia Tigray

(Source: Globe News Net) – 

UN says government was aware of plane carrying 11 aid workers as year-long conflict with Tigray escalates

Ethiopian military airstrikes on Friday October 22, 2021 forced a United Nations humanitarian flight which was 4:30 minutes away from its landing in Tigray’s capital Mekelle to turn back.

Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu told The Associated Press (AP) that authorities were aware the UN inbound flight.

The World Food Program told The Associated Press that the flight with 11 passengers had been cleared by federal authorities but “received instructions to abort landing by the Mekele airport control tower.”

Reports showed that the UN plane was instructed to return 4:30 minutes away from landing because Ethiopian fighter jets started to scramble at the skies of Mekelle at that instant.

Had it not been for the instantaneous order by the Mekelle control tower operators and the bravery and skillfulness of the pilot, the UN plane, which had already started descent could have been caught by the guns fired against the fighter jets which were raiding civilian targets.

All evidences suggest that there was clear intention by Ethiopian authorities to get the UN plane caught in the cross fire.

Tigray government’s spokesperson, Getachew Reda, said in a tweet Friday that the U.N. plane had to abort its landing despite earlier getting approval from the government for the flight.

“Our air defense units knew the UN plane was scheduled to land & it was due in large measure to their restraint it was not caught in a crossfire,” Reda said. “What begs the question however is the government cleared the UN plane to fly to #Mekelle only to send its fighter jet in time to raid civilian targets.”

“While the use of the UN flight as a distraction couldn’t be ruled out, it is not entirely implausible to suspect that the Smart Alecs in Addis were indeed setting up the UN plane to be hit by our guns,” Reda added.

The Ethiopian government, which has been at odds with aid workers in Tigray appears to have wanted the chartered UN Plane to be hit by Tigray’s defense units, killing the crew and the 11 UN staff inside the plane.

The signs are that the government likely believed that this was the best technique to determinately halt all humanitarian works in Tigray at once.

The international community needs to unanimously condemn this extremely irresponsible, evil game by Ethiopian authorities, as the signs suggest.

A military spokesman, Colonel Getnet Adane declined to respond to questions by AP.

The plane which was forced to turn back has safely landed in Addis Ababa.

The government in Addis Ababa and humanitarian groups have been at loggerheads with UN which has been trying to get food to the millions of Ethiopians who are facing famine-like conditions.

UN OCHA’s representative, Grant Leaity is among the 7 high ranking UN officials who were expelled by Ethiopian officials from the country, early this month.

All humanitarian flights to Tigray have been suspended due to the incident. 

Only 1 percent of the food intended for more than 5 million people between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13 was able to get through due to the fighting, the U.N. said. 

Tigray has been put in humanitarian blockade by Ethiopia’s government for close to a year now. Ethiopian government has also been engaged in deliberate campaign of starving the population by employing various tactics which included burning crops, stealing food from individual households, killing cattle, destroying irrigation canals and small dams, preventing farmers from ploughing their land, planting landmines in farmlands, cutting fruit trees and the like, while also blocking any access to humanitarian aid. The result has been 5.2 million people put in immediate need of humanitarian aid and more than 900,000 in famine conditions.

This is high time for the international community, which has been reluctant in taking meaningful action in the face of evidences of grave atrocities with all hallmarks of genocide and deliberate use of starvation and rape as weapons of war, to change its course and take a concerted meaningful and decisive action that can stop the crisis.

 

 

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