By Concerned Ethiopians,
THE Ethiopian government has been plagued by several defections of high profile Ethiopian Air Force members and government officials.
The latest defection of airmen took place three days ago when four senior Ethiopian Air Force pilots abandon the regime from their base in Dire Dawa, in eastern Ethiopia, to Kenya.
This was in fact following another defection of two pilots and a technician to neighboring Eritrea a week ago flying an MI-35 fighter helicopter.
The Amsterdam based Ethiopian Satellite Television ESAT reported that many houses at the base and in the town of Dire Dawa have been searched soon after the defection of these four pilots to Kenya and several airmen have also been detained.
Ethiopians would like to remind the Uhuru Kenyatta government that Nairobi is under obligation of international law to ensure the safety and security of these airmen. They have fled to Kenyan territory in search of protection. This is something that has defined the post-war world and the international system, and it should not be undermined because of a league the TPLF regime has created in the Horn of Africa.
The people of Ethiopia would not ignore and pass in silence any harm that comes to these airmen because of Kenya handing them over to the government in Addis Ababa.
In the past, in violation of international law, Kenya has handed over several Ethiopian refugees to the Ethiopian regime. On their forced return, many of these have perished due to torture and refusal of access to medical help. Otherwise, many were either sent to unknown prisons or were thrown to dungeons, where they were exposed to diseases and lost their lives.
Torture for which the regime has been known brings to mind the case of Eng. Tesfahun Chemeda, a bona fide political refugee Kenya had handed over to Ethiopia. The brutal death he suffered are still fresh in the minds of Ethiopians, given the extent of the tortures he has been subjected to, according to his inmates in prison.
May the spirit and God of Ethiopia be with these Ethiopian pilots.