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[CLIP CLIP “IAM EVE ROMEO”]
THURMAN TIWAINA: The plane was taken from Addis Ababa, here in the capital of Ethiopia, And people were not particularly surprised by the strange disappearance of the aircraft.
IAM EVE ROMEO: They didn’t know what kind of rocket or artillery grenade it was. It was used in the bloody battles on the western side of Tigray last year, as Ethiopian troops crossed into Tigray. But their firepower was dwarfed by the Ethiopian troops themselves. They had helicopters, they had tanks, armored trucks, all rolled into Tigray over a few weeks’ time.
Another way of looking at it is the aircraft that was lost was a wing. It’s called a “wing case” because it’s often lifted out of the air in a certain way and placed over someone else’s airplane. It’s a very costly piece of equipment.
International rules strictly prohibit the transfer of weapons from one country to another as far as fighting is concerned. And the latest sign that the Ethiopian government was using its flagship commercial airline to fly weapons into war zones came a year and a half ago in the eastern Ethiopian province of Adwa, fighting had barely begun and from the air one could see trucks loaded with heavy military equipment moving from military bases to frontlines.