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Eritrea grounds its air force after a series of defections

Posted by Ethio Tribune on April 24, 2013

The Eritrean government has grounded its small air force after a series of defections by senior pilots over the past year. A friend of mine at Asmara air port told me that all aircraft, including small planes and helicopters owned by the air force, are being prevented from taking off. Recently, two Eritrean pilots had landed the president’s plane in Saudi Arabia and requested political asylum. Just a few days ago, another pilot, who was sent by President Isayas Afewerki to bring back his plane also defected. Saudi newspapers reported that the female captain is seeking political asylum

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