UAE air bridge provides military support to Ethiopia gov’t

UAE air bridge provides military support to Ethiopia gov’t

Satellite images obtained by Al Jazeera show the UAE is providing extensive support to Ethiopian army in fight against Tigrayan forces.

UAE providing military support to Addis Ababa

Satellite imagery obtained by Al Jazeera has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has opened an air bridge to provide extensive military support to the Ethiopian government in its fight against forces from the northern Tigray region.

The investigation found that between September and November, there were more than 90 flights between the UAE and Ethiopia, with many intentionally concealing from where they took off and where they landed.

The UAE has carried out the extensive operation with the support of two private shipping companies: a Spanish firm which organised 54 military-support flights between the UAE and Ethiopia in less than a month, and a Ukrainian one which organised 39 military cargo flights in two months.

A satellite image showing a Wing Loong drone in Harar Meda base, south of Addis Ababa [Al Jazeera]

Flight charts and satellite images show aircraft recently arriving from Sweihan Base in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to Harar Meda base, just south of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

The images show a Chinese-made Wing Loong drone, the first ever documented in Ethiopian military bases. They also show the offloading of military cargo from Ilyushin cargo aircraft.

The imagery also reveals that the Samara and Axum bases were inoperative following clashes with the Tigrayan forces, which said this week they were some 200km from Addis Ababa.

Much of northern Ethiopia is under a communications blackout and access for journalists is severely restricted, making battlefield claims difficult to verify.

Military cargo offloaded from Ilyushin planes [Al Jazeera]

Ethiopian state media said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had gone to the front lines to lead the Ethiopian army against the Tigrayan forces.

After months of tension, Abiy in November 2020 sent troops to Tigray to remove the region’s governing party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The TPLF dominated the federal government for nearly three decades until Abiy took office in 2018.

The prime minister, a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, promised a swift victory. His troops seized Tigray’s capital, Mekelle, in late November but by June, the Tigrayan forces had retaken most of the region and pushed into the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions.

In recent weeks, the Ethiopian government has intensified a mass army recruitment drive amid hopes that a reported shopping-spree acquisition of an arsenal of drones and other weapons would give it an edge.

Ethiopia’s government signed a military cooperation agreement with Turkey in August, amid reports it wanted to deploy drones in the war.

“There have already been a number of claims of the Chinese arming the Ethiopians with Wing Loong drones, and the Turks have also been providing drones for the Ethiopians,” Martin Plaut, senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, told Al Jazeera.

“I think they [the UAE] are, in a sense, a staging post for these weapons supplies. Some of them come directly, some of them go through the UAE; but the UAE is clearly underwriting what is happening.”

Ilyushin cargo planes arriving from UAE at Harar Meda base, just south of Addis Ababa [Al Jazeera]

The year-long conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced more than two million and left hundreds of thousands facing famine-like conditions.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for an immediate end to the fighting in Ethiopia, as the United States warned there was “no military solution” to the war.


1 Comment

  1. We have taken the liberty of copying and re-posting here on this page, 8 comments and replies from another Kichuu page, which appeared under an article which addressed the meddling of the UAE in the conflict in Ethiopia in support of the Ethiopian State. The UAE has chosen to make an ENEMY of the people of Tigray and Oromia, by this dastardly act! We the people of Tigray and the Oromo people will remember this SHAMEFUL act by a BRUTAL ARAB FIEFDOM, ruled by a ruthless Cabal of Sheiks, who are nothing more than errand boys for their Western and Saudi masters!

    Oromo and Tigrayan Friends
    November 19, 2021 AT 12:03PM

    The UAE is an Arab Feudal Fiefdom which has long disgraced its people by willingly becoming an errand boy for whichever World Power holds a stick over the head of its ruling class Sheiks! No surprise there!

    The sad part is the Oromo people and the people of Tigray HAVE NO CREDIBLE POWER in the world, bar Norway and the Republic of Ireland, to speak on their behalf, or take issues with their butchery, by an ethno-racist Amhara Settler Ethiopian State getting armed by the likes of the UAE & Turkey to kill its own citizens in an open war it declared on them!

    We the Oromo people and the people of Tigray will remember this shameful silence by the rest of the Europeans and the Americans for a long time to come!

    …….John Morales says:
    …….November 20, 2021 at 4:01 am

    Where do you get your information. The United States and Europe have been unsparing in the criticism of Abeye.

    The USA is implementing severe trade restrictions that will severely damage Abeye’s government as it loses key sources of income.

    It is the REST OF THE WORLD, in particular China, Russia, India Etc. that has abandoned Ethiopia to Abeye. Those three as well as other NON-Western nations have adopted the position that the war in Ethiopia is an internal affair that the world should stay out of.

    Only the USA and Europe have expressed appropriate outrage at the war crimes committed by the Ethiopian government. China, Russia, India have said absolutely nothing about the mass rapes and murders committed by Eritrean and Ethiopian government forces while they Occupied Tigray.

    Other nations like Iran and UAE look to profit from the war. NEITHER nation is a treaty ally of the USA. Iran is an outright enemy, and the USA has no sway there.

    The history of UAE / US relations has gone back and forth but always it is based on ONE thing only self-interest. It is not a friendship or an alliance of any kind.

    The UAE does what it wants to without worrying about US approval or disapproval, because it has the advantage of being on the front lines against Iran. As a result, the USA stays out of its affairs unless it is something that directly impacts US interest.

    Attempting to blame the USA for the actions of the UAE is wrong-headed and self-defeating, because when it comes to the Tigray war the actions the USA is taking and will take make it clear it is pro-Tigray and by extension pro-Omoro.

    Look at the USA’s actions and ignore its words. Its words are more balanced, because they are meant for world consumption to fend off attacks by Russia and China that the USA is interfering in the internal affairs of a foreign nation while it desperately tries to help the Tigrayan Alliance.

    ……..Oromo and Tigrayan Friends says:
    ……..November 21, 2021 at 4:47 am

    Mr Morales,

    We will not make an issue of your retort in your first sentence about ‘where we get our’ information from, but we want to let you know that our information comes from the Statements of the Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations, and the various statements and pronouncements by American Officials, such as, Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman. We augment our reading of these statements with information from our own ‘ears and eyes’ in or close to the war zones on the the ground in Ethiopia.

    For the sake of brevity we have chosen to quote from just one statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield dated November 8, 2021 delivered at the UN Security Council meeting:

    1) “There are no good guys here [in this war]”

    We in our little group here are actually pretty measured in our assertion that the United States is “silent,” in the face of our people getting butchered by an ethno-racist Amhara State of Ethiopia on a premeditated attack on the people of Tigray. In fact, the Ambassador condemns both the TDF and the OLA by this statement! Moreover, for the Ambassador of the United States to place the actions of the Tigray Defense Forces to defend our people with the atrocious crimes committed against our people by the Ethiopian State and the mercenary forces of Eritrea, on the same moral scale is not just sad, but morally reprehensible! As we said in our prior comment, we the People of Tigray and the Oromo People will remember this unfortunate statement!

    2)”This war between angry belligerent men victimizing women & children has to stop!”

    We do not want to venture into trying to discern the analytical method or ideology applied which will lead the Ambassador of the United States to FRAME a war officially declared by the Ethiopian State, with 50% of its Cabinet headed by women, against the people of Tigray and Oromia to some extent, as ‘a war between belligerent angry men…” Our concern is that this statement IGNORES the preponderance of evidence available that the overwhelming acts of crime against women, children, and old men including Priests, were committed by the Ethiopian State and Eritrean mercenary forces against the people of Tigray and Oromia! The people of Tigray through the TDF, and the people of Oromia through the OLA, are engaged in a war of self defense! Almost all of us here in our little group can attest to the fact that both the TDF and the OLA have an incredibly high standard of duty they hold their fighters to, when it comes to crimes committed against unarmed civilians. In the case of the OLA, the punishment for such a crime is death, and the TDF has similar measures it enforces unscrupulously!

    3)The Oromo are victimized by Amhara Militias, Ethiopian Security Forces in conjunction with Eritrean Mercenary Soldiers. Our unarmed farmers are killed and their homes and crops are burned down every day. This is done as a matter of State Policy, to render support for the Oromo Liberation Army ineffective! Whether or not a person supports the Oromo Liberation Army is never investigated! This State action coupled with the avowed promise of the Prime Minster to wipe out Oromo opposition to his rule, has lead to untold suffering for our people bordering on ethnic cleansing! No one within the United States government has ever brought up this issue at any time! Yet, for the first time ever, the Ambassador of the United States ACTUALLY MENTIONS the Oromo Liberation Army at the UN Security Council to admonish it to stop its advance on Addis Abeba, along with the TDF!

    You say words of the United States do not matter! We disagree! We believe the United States is the single most important voice in the world for the greater good! But when that voice is uttered in the negative, in scenarios that do not warrant adverse pronouncements, it can cause an incredible level of harm! The word of the United States must not be a comfort to Dictators and Tyrants. It must be empowering to those who fight for justice and freedom!

    As far as China, the Ayatollahs of Iran, and Russia are concerned, we do not expect anything positive from them because they are tyrannies of one kind or another! The people of Tigray and Oromia are not fighting to establish Chinese and Russian style Communism, or Iran style rule by religious clerics! They are not our model! Our model is a nation which is a symbol of Democracy, justice, and the rule of law. But that model of ours is failing us right now; because it is more interested in maintaining the Status quo, i.e, maintaining and sustaining Ethiopia as it is currently constituted, than supporting the struggle for justice and freedom by the people of Oromia and Tigray!

    …………Yohannes aka Yoni says:
    …………November 21, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Well done guys and gals of Oromo and Tigrayan Friends! Mr Morales argues in a typical Lefty fashion with condescending snide and insults; but you refrained from going down that route. The interesting part about his comment is, he comes across as if he is speaking on behalf of the Biden/Harris Administration! If he is, it actually confirms the concern among many of us that this Administration is engaged in appeasing Dictators and Tyrants from Xi Jin Ping, to the Ayatollahs, to Putin, and the head of the new Turkish dream of a Neo-Ottoman Caliphate, Recip Tayep Erdogan!

    For him to say that the US should not be blamed for the actions of the UAE, actually shows how messed up the Foreign Policy of this Administration is! Why not? When is it that the UAE Arabs produced any meaningful Weapons of War, in appreciable quantity or quality? It is all American and European arms they acquire with their Petro Dollar that they use to wreck havoc from Libya to Ethiopia today. When they are not buying it, they are actually serving as delivery boys for one of the Western Powers where the Western Powers want to conceal their involvement in a conflict!

    Yohannes aka Yoni says:
    November 19, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    In fact, the United States is encouraging the involvement by the UAE; because this Administration wants the Oromo Liberation Army to be defeated, so it can maintain and sustain Ethiopia as is; for the foreseeable future! One would think that this “progressive” Administration would have learned something from its debacle in Afghanistan, where it could not defeat a 7th century Medieval Guerrilla force of less than 80K with all its sophisticated weapons of war!

    The UAE could arm the brutal ethno-racist Amhara Ethiopian State all it wants, but the notion that the Oromo will go back to being ruled over by a racist Amhara elite class is a farce, AND it will remain as such, for as long as the Oromo people exist on Earth! For every Oromo fighter martyred in our just struggle for Liberty and Sovereignty, there are 100s lining up to join the armed struggle! It is a folly of gargantuan proportions to think that any power can sustain and maintain the Empire state of Ethiopia as is! Like all Empires before it, Ethiopia will soon DISAPPEAR into a garbage bin of History!

    There is no power on Earth which can block the birth of an Independent and Sovereign Oromo republic in perpetuity! Temporary setbacks, if and when they occur, will not cow the Oromo people into submission!

    We stand with our Oromo Liberation Army today AND til the end!

    Victory to the Oromo People!

    Onward to an Independent and Sovereign Oromo Republic!

    Ilmaa Juukii Bareentoo says:
    November 20, 2021 at 2:13 am

    The Arabs have ALWAYS been enemies of the Oromo people from Slavery through the decades of European Colonialism and Ethiopian Imperial expansion! The Emratis have chosen to remain our enemy and that is regrettable! The Oromo have long memory! Our people will still be in the Horn of Africa long after Ethiopia has disappeared from the map of Africa and the World!

    The Oromo people will remember!

    Aba Solan says:
    November 22, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    The overriding imperative for the United States’ Foreign Policy in the Horn of Africa, we are told, is peace & stability! Fair enough! The Oromo People and the people of Tigray desperately want peace and stability in their homes too, which is to say in their “region,” i.e, the Horn of Africa! Why? Because they have been victims of every major and minor chaos and disaster in the region, more than any other group of people in the Horn of Africa, bar, perhaps, the Somalis since the formation of the State of Ethiopia! As the World fully knows by now, they are bearing the brunt of an ethno-racist war declared upon them by an Amhara elitist State of Ethiopia right this minute!

    The Policy architects of the United States for this region know full well that the Oromo Liberation Army and the Tigray Defense Forces are not the cause of the current chaos; the Ethiopian ethno-racist Amhara elite State is! Not only the current conflict, but the Ethiopian State has been the cause of ALL past major crisses; wars and famines, in the Horn of Africa since its formation via conquest of the Southern peoples in the 1880s! If the United States desires to usher in a lasting Peace and stability in the region, a good place to start is not by weakening the two significant forces which can serve as ANCHORS towards achieving this goal. To the contrary, the Policy makers should think outside the confines of the existing concepts of “State Sovereignty” as it is understood today, and work with these TWO FORCES which have captured the hearts and minds of their people! It is, and it will prove counterproductive, to try and prop up the Ethiopian State which has proved to be irredeemable like ALL Empires before it, because the interests of the Amhara elite and their cronies who are running it is in direct contravention to the interests of the people of Oromia, Tigray, Sidama, Gumuz, and all the other colonized peoples who have never ever had a say in how and by whom their affairs should be run, within the Ethiopian State, OR as Free nations outside it!

    The United States needs to be a voice for justice first and foremost in this region. That is the way into the hearts and minds of the Oromo, and the people of Tigray, without whose SUPPORT and complete partnership, PEACE and STABILITY in the region will remain an illusion! A good place to start is to make it clear to the Russians, the Turkish State, the UAE, and the Iranians, that the US will not remain a neutral observer of their malicious and bloody profiteering from the misery of millions of people in the Horn of Africa by exploiting the current conflict! That will definitely gain the attention of the Oromo people, the people of Tigray AND their respective organizations and align their interests with the interest of the United States! Barring this approach, one thing is clear: the Oromo people and the People of Tigray will CONTINUE to fight to the bitter end, to redeem their Humanity, Dignity, Freedom, and Sovereignty with or without the assistance or intervention of any and all outside powers! That will only prolong the instability and chaos the United States is hoping to contain in this region!

    Am I hoping for too much? Perhaps! But sharing our ideas with those who are open to consider a different approach does not cost us a penny! LOL

    Irkoo aka Eric says:
    November 23, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Well argued Aba Solan! Let’s hope Mr Morales communicates your message to the Democrats in the White House! They have a lot to prove to the American people if they want to win the next election! TO counter the current criticism leveled against the Biden/Harris Administration that it is appeasing Dictators from the likes of Xi Jin Ping to the Ayatollahs, with the itsy-bitsy but deadly Dictator twins of Abiy and Afwerki, running wild in the Horn of Africa, the Foreign Policy ‘experts’ of the Administration may have to begin acting quickly to truly defend the interests of the United States around the World!

    The fortuitous part for our people is that the National Interest of the United States in the Horn of Africa is IDENTICAL with the interests of the Oromo people and the People of Tigray, if the current Administration can act with vision and courage!

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