The latest inaccurate claims by Sudanese officials that Ethiopian Airlines (ET) is engaged in the shipment and transportation of illegal weapons mainly aims to tarnish the reputation of the carrier, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said in its weekly press briefing held on Thursday.
It can be recalled that Sudan’s news agency, SUNA, reported last Sunday that the Customs authorities in Khartoum Airport had detained a shipment of weapons that arrived on Saturday night from Addis Ababa via the Ethiopian Airlines, stating the issue was being investigated to identify the details.
However, the statement issued by ET on Monday, September 6, 2021 rebuffed the accusation published over the aforementioned media outlet and stated that “the shipment and transportation of the weapons is legal and the weapons are used for the purpose of hunting. All the process of transportation was conducted after receiving all the necessary documents from the relevant body.”
Similarly, spokesperson of MoFA, Dina Mufti (Amb.) in his weekly briefing described the accusation as a “drama” and the rationale behind the accusation, according to him, is to defame and tarnish the reputation of the carrier.
Regarding the deteriorating relation between Ethiopia and Sudan due to the border claims, Dina noted that the Sudanese encroachment was a challenge the country has faced the whole year.
He added that the Ethiopian government has been very cautious and tolerant of Sudanese belligerence, pointing out that it has been engaged in finding a peaceful diplomatic solution.
Dina further stated that even though the problem is not solved yet, the efforts made by the Ethiopian government over the preceding Ethiopian year were an indication of tolerance and magnanimity.
He added: “when the Sudanese initially marched into Ethiopian territory, Ethiopia warned Sudanese officials to course correct from their wrong doings.”
Border tensions have reignited since the conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region began in early November 2020.