Ethiopia confirms defection of Eritrean pilots to its territory
Last updated on October 30, 2016 @7:00 pm local time
Awramba Times (Addis Ababa) - Two Eritrean air force pilots have defected to Ethiopia with an aircraft, senior Ethiopian official confirmed.
H.E. Saraj Fegessa, Ethiopia’s Defense Minister, told journalists that two Eritrean pilots have defected on Wednesday to Ethiopia.
“It is not surprising to see a large number Eritrean refugees, including soldiers, flocking not only to Ethiopia, but also to Sudan, Egypt and other neighboring countries.” Siraj Fegessa said at the press conference held in the capital Addis Ababa today.
“what made the case of these pilots unique to me is that they came across our air space. Accordingly, two pilots have came with their aircraft to our country and we will host and treat them properly as we usually do, along with other refugees of their countrymen that we have been receiving on a daily basis” he added.
Awramba times was the first media outlet to report the defection of two Eritrean pilots, named Mebrahtu Tesfamariam and Afework fissehaye, on Wednesday. The pilots have came across the Ethiopian airspace of Humera, by flying their military aircraft Zlin-143-102. Accompanied by Ethiopian air force jets, the pilots were landed at the airforce base of Ethiopia’s northern city, Mekelle.
Please watch the video below. Video credit goes to Beniam Kebede of Ethiopiafirst.com