Federal Aviation Administration Withdraws Prohibition Against Flights to Ethiopia


Awramba Times is a US based online journal providing up-to-date news and analysis about Ethiopia email us: [email protected]

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4 Responses

  1. Ermi says:

    AWT, you never told us the introduction of the prohibition, now you are telling us the removal of it. You only tell your readers the good news? This kind of “limatawi” journalism would bankrupt your credibility.

    Peace to all but Woyanes!


  2. Zellalem says:

    The air space is always there; safe, free and open. They only are thinking they have closed it because of they said so and written about it for their own political reasons related to Ethiopia. Now they are saying, they are opening it for sure again for their own political reasons cocking in their head relating to Ethiopia and the region at large as far as to Sudan and Yemen.

    This is a kind of game they are playing against any nation thinking they are the master of the earth and everyone and everything existing on and above it. They are making a big drama about it thinking this is something big and significant despite there is nothing and none one cares about it. Because the air Space in the highland is always open, free, clean, nice and clear where the land is naturally higher than those below it.

  3. election says:

    why is that the only people who are benefiting from the Ethiopia’s airplane is sebhat nega and his family members? I thought the airline was Ethiopia people.

  4. Tatek says:

    This is good news for Ethiopia and the timing doesn’t get any better than this for the EPRDF as the Coalition faces the Ethiopian electorate in just about three months for the first time without the late PM Meles Zenawi. The EPRDF can now say, ” look, we are not only good at keeping the Economy strong, we are actually fantastic at the Security front too”. The FAA should have reviewed this issue much earlier and allowed US Commercial Aircrafts to fly over Ethiopian Air space, but the bureaucracy are always very much their own people and they do things at a time of their own choosing. Ethiopian Air space is one of the safest in Africa, but the US doesn’t rely on intelligence provided by the Ethiopians to determine if or not the Ethiopian Air Space was safe enough to warrant the Administration to give a green light to American Commercial Aircrafts to navigate Ethiopian Airspace. Some of us have already had our knife in the throat of Awramba Times Editor, Dawit Kebede, to give us more information behind this story. But in my view, the only people in charge of that information we are desperately seeking are the officers in Langley, VA. and the information in their possession is so much sealed with steel. That’s why I always say you can hardly win against these two people: Dick Cheney and your wife. As we all know, Dick Cheney came back to the White House by joining the Bush ticket as Bush 43’s Vice President, who lost the popular vote to Al Gore but awarded the Presidency by the Republican controlled US Supreme Court on December 12, 2000 by a slim margin of 5 to 4. On January 22, 2001, a mere two days after inauguration, Cheney had already set up his office at the West Wing of the White House and commenced maneuvering to direct the VP’s staff to snoop on any information flow between the President’s staff and anyone else in Washington. Dick Cheney was determined to make the Executive branch the most powerful in American history and nothing would stop him from achieving that—not even a heart bypass surgery he had just before coming to Washington. In politics, when an opportunity displays itself, you just take it and no one understood this better than Dick Cheney. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Cheney knew his moment to shine had come and started a vigorous media and political campaign telling Americans that the US couldn’t afford another attack on its home soil and the nation had to rally behind the President—urging Congress to offer the President imperial powers to defend the nation as he saw fit. When Congress was divided on letting the President to attack Iraq based on an evidence ”cherry picked” by none other than Cheney himself, the VP slammed the Congressional skeptics as ”sympathizers of Terrorists” and continuously told the media that the President was the Commander-in -Chief of the US Armed Forces and had a Constitutional duty to protect the nation as he saw fit. Cheney knew that all that mattered at that moment was American public opinion and the US public was behind the President en masse. The VP successfully hammered Congress back to the line but would face another hurdle—this time from Langley, VA. The CIA made it so clear that they couldn’t stand behind Cheney’s manufactured story that Iraq had purchased a yellow cake from Niger and could just be months away from successfully building a bomb—a precursor to US attack on Baghdad. Cheney’s unfinished war with the CIA dates back to the Reagan Administration when the VP was a member of Congress and the CIA leaked an information that almost resulted in the impeachment of President Ronald Reagan. Reagan survived an impeachment over the Iran-Contra scandal thanks to Democrats’ lack of appetite to delete one of the most popular GOP Presidents from office, but his Defense Secretary had to go to jail. If the CIA thought Cheney forgot that, they were wrong. The VP drove day in and day out to CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA and challenged the Agency to come up with a solid evidence linking Saddam and 9/11 and Saddam and Niger. When the CIA couldn’t find any substantive and concrete evidence to that effect, Cheney dismissed two Agency officers assigned as the VP’s daily briefers one after another and started an all-out media war against the Agency. He told CNN’s Larry King that the CIA thought they are the Forth branch of the Federal Govt. Cheney publicly said war time intelligence in Iraq should be collected via the Defense Department and not the CIA—prompting Agency Director, George Tenet, to immediately dispatch himself to the White House to see the President over the issue. Both the US public and the CIA could see this was unprecedented but Cheney wouldn’t budge. Asked on Sunday Morning’s Meet The Press in 2005 as to if or not President Bush relied on fabricated intelligence to invade Iraq, the VP responded, ”if you wait for intelligence to drive policy, you will have waited too long” — a direct assault on and contempt to the CIA.

    As an academic, I was one of the fierce critics of both Congress and the CIA for allowing themselves to step one foot behind Dick Cheney, but I found myself in their own shoes when my wife recently challenged me to donate to the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam Fund (GERDF), which I did. This brought a ferocious criticism from my academic friends who accused me of being a hypocrite—even a sleeping agent. Some likened me to Mesfin Bezu, a journalist who is attempting to create another Walta Information Centre in Washington DC, while others said I was a replica of the late PM Meles Zenawi. When I reminded them that Meles wasn’t always wrong, mainly in light of the fact that his political base was quite slim even in Tigray—confined so much to his hometown of Adwa, Adigrat and Shire, and his at times hands-on approach to power might have something to do with the late PM’s feeling of vulnerability rather than an act of Autocracy, they couldn’t be more furious. Truth be told, Mr Meles left a solid legacy behind that he successfully kept an unlikely and shaky Coalition together for over two decades—something his Party Aides wouldn’t want to mention for fear that it sort of sends a signal to their adversaries that the Coalition lacks Inter-Party cohesion. What my friends couldn’t contrast, in my view, was it is one thing to point a finger from the top of a tall building and absolutely another thing to navigate a troubled deep water to keep a fish alive, and Meles did the latter. But for me, all that matters is what the Ethiopian public wants and it appears that Ethiopians want the Nile dam and they are determined to build it, and so am I. My colleagues’ issues seem to have emanated from our politics which is still on an infant’s bed and it surely takes a while for it to grow. It sickens me to see opposition activists heckle and ridicule Communications Affairs Minister, Redwan Hussein, in the US. The Minister’s ascent to where he is right now comes as one of the miracles in Ethiopian political history — as I never heard of his community’s name up until very recently, let alone of a Minister from that Community. His hecklers should have respected the Minister’s chair, which exclusively belongs to the people of Ethiopia and whoever occupies it has the badge of honor given to him/her by the Ethiopian people.

    The sweet lips and tight breasts of a democracy reside not just in accepting and appreciating dissent and divergent views, but they also belong in cultivating and cherishing the rights of Minorities, Women, the disabled and the voiceless to ensure that we don’t end up with what we call ”Tyranny of the Majority”—-which happens when Govt turns its back on the most vulnerable among a society and sticks its eyes only on those who are capable of putting it in office; and to those who are dying for an information behind the FAA’s decision in reversing the prohibition against US Commercial flights to Ethiopia, my answer is simple: just apprehend Dick Cheney and he will get it for you.

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