Experts said the flights would constitute a violation of international aviation law, which forbids the smuggling of arms for military use on civil aircraft.
Atrocities committed during the conflict also appear to violate the terms of a trade program that provides lucrative access to the United States market and which Ethiopian Airlines has benefited greatly from.
In June, photos circulated on social media platforms showing crates containing mortars on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight and the same crates being loaded on the plane in Massawa, Eritrea. However, CNN has corroborated the photos using visual analysis techniques, interviews and documentary evidence, dating them to a 777 Freighter cargo flight that flew from Ethiopia to Eritrea and back between November 8 and 9.
"Soldiers and militias subjected Tigrayan women and girls to rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, sexual mutilation and other forms of torture, often using ethnic slurs and death threats," Amnesty International said.Source
Abiy’s government must lead the way by creating conditions under which both sides can negotiate. To that end, it should take immediate steps to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Tigray, including lifting the de facto blockade and allowing sufficient food and medical supplies into the region.
It should also restore electricity, telecommunications, banking and commerce, and other basic services to the region that it cut off during the conflict. These steps will not only end violations of international humanitarian law but also eliminate the TPLF’s initial justification for expanding its offensive outside Tigray. Finally, Abiy’s government must cease arresting and detaining Tigrayans based solely on their ethnic identity and stop referring to the TPLF as a terrorist group to be annihilated.
"The new onslaught of abuses by Amhara forces against Tigrayan civilians remaining in several towns in Western Tigray should ring alarm bells,” said Joanne Mariner, Amnesty International’s Director of Crisis Response.
Since armed conflict began in November 2020, Western Tigray, a disputed administrative territory, has been the site of some of the worst atrocities, including massacres, indiscriminate shelling, and large-scale forced displacement of the Tigrayan population.
On 2 December, 2021, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 1.2 million people have been displaced from Western Tigray since the beginning of the conflict.
In its most recent situation report, UNICEF also reports that: an estimated 3 million women and children are in need of emergency protection services.
2.7 million school-aged children are out of school, with 240 schools being used to shelter displaced families and another 2,500 schools completely or partially damaged.
With hundreds of health facilities either damaged or closed and thousands of health workers displaced, millions of people lack access to even basic care; some 855,000 children under age 5 are missing out on routine immunizations.
Overcrowding at IDP sites is making poor sanitation and hygiene conditions worse, increasing the risk of cholera and other disease outbreaks.
- Ethiopian Airlines used to transport weapons
- Sexual violence in Tigray amount to war crimes
- Blocking civilians of access to humanitarian aid
- 1.2 million people have been displaced
- UN says 3 Million women and children are in need