Why boycott flowers carried by Ethiopian Airlines
Valentine’s Day is about love but this year we are asking you to turn away and take a stance against hate.
We ask you to boycott Ethiopian and Kenyan flowers transported by Ethiopian airlines.
So please ask before you buy: where are the flowers from and who flew them in?
War and flowers don’t mix
A vicious war erupted in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region on 4 November 2020. The Ethiopian government has waged an ugly campaign of racial profiling against Tigrayan men and women, even if they have nothing to do with the war.
Tigrayans have lost their jobs, been attacked and racially harassed.
Why Ethiopian airlines?
Ethiopian Airlines – the country’s flag carrier – has participated in this discrimination. Tigrayan employees – pilots, caterers, technicians, and security guards – have been instructed to stay at home.
The New York Times reported on 12 December: “Even the C.E.O. of the national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, who is an ethnic Tigrayan, 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 United Nations has voiced its concerns, saying: ““There is an urgent need for independent monitoring of the human rights situation in the Tigray region, all necessary measures to protect civilians, and accountability for violations.”.
Ethiopian Airlines is also a major foreign currency earner for the country – helping fund the war.
Why Valentine’s day?
Ethiopia is a major flower producer – with 300 tons of flowers exported a day.
This year the Kenyan government handed Ethiopian Airlines a contract to carry large quantities of Kenyan flowers to Europe.
If the lovely red roses that you are thinking of giving your loved one this Valentine’s day come from Ethiopia or Kenya, ask yourself:
- Are my flowers endorsing discrimination and racial profiling?
- Are they helping pay for a war?