Eritrea: Military helicopter pilot defects to Eritrea

Asmara (HAN) December 24, 2014 – Public diplomacy and the Horn of Africa related Security issues. An Ethiopian air force pilot has defected to Eritrea, flying a helicopter across the border with his co-pilot and a technician, Ethiopian state-run media said on Tuesday.

Eritrea and Ethiopia have been locked in a border dispute for years and routinely accuse each other of backing rebels trying to destabilise and topple the other’s government

The three helicopter pilots had been missing since Friday morning soon after leaving their base on a routine training session, Ethiopian Television reported.

Eritrea and Ethiopia have been locked in a border dispute for years and routinely accuse each other of backing rebels trying to destabilise and topple the other’s government – a legacy from the two-year war they fought in the late 1990s.

“The military helicopter landed in Eritrea, flown by a traitor pilot who forced both his co-pilot and a technician while they took part in a training exercise,” the Ethiopian military report said,

 
Photo: David Ferguson in Semera with the military helicopter that took him, his Ethiopian colleagues and police guards to a remote region of Afar.  Photograph: Talfan Barnie, University of Cambridge Public Domain.


 

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