Ethiopian Airlines: International Boycott Campaign
29 December 2020
Ethiopians, Eritreans and their international friends are launching a campaign for a boycott of Ethiopian Airlines, following the Ethiopian Government’s ethnic-profiling of Tigreans and other ethnic minorities.
“We urge all passengers to stop flying with Ethiopian Airlines while this terrible war in Tigray continues,” said Mesfin Ayenew of Security and Justice for Tigrean in Ethiopia.
Tigreans – and Eritrean refugees who speak Tigrinya – have been targeted by the airline and the authorities. They lost their jobs, have been driven out of the army and the police force, and had homes raided and goods looted.
“We call on the United Nations and all Non-Governmental and Aid organisations to take a lead by not using Ethiopian Airlines. These organisations cannot wash their hands of the ethnic-cleansing and the bloodshed in Tigray,” said Mesfin Ayenew.
Habte Hagos of Eritrea Focus said: “Eritrean troops are directly involved in this war, participating in the killings, while looting Tigreans homes and religious sites. We urge everyone to join the ‘Boycott Ethiopian Airlines’ campaign.”
The Boycott campaign is launched in the USA, Britain and other European countries, and in time we expect it to be worldwide.
Why Ethiopian airlines?
The war in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray has been accompanied by an ugly campaign of ethnic-profiling against Tigreans. They have lost their jobs, been attacked and racially harassed.
Ethiopian Airlines – the country’s flag carrier – has participated in this. Tigrean employees – pilots, cabin crew, caterers, technicians, and security guards among them – have lost their jobs or been instructed to stay at home until further notice.
The New York Times reported on 12 December: “Even the C.E.O. of the national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, who is an ethnic Tigrean, was barred from leaving the country earlier this month, according to a pilot at the airline, and a foreign diplomat who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.”
The state appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, says it is “gravely concerned” at reports of ethnic-profiling of Tigreans, “most notably manifested in forced leave from work and in stopping people from travelling overseas including on work missions, for medical treatment or studies”. The view was echoed by the UN.
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