Africa’s largest carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, denied allegations of transporting weapons and soldiers to the war-torn region Tigray on July 31, 2021.
Appeals of boycotting the state-owned carrier circulated on social media over their involvement in the conflict that erupted in November 2020. The war has pitted the government defense forces and allies against the Tigray rebels.
“Ethiopian Airlines strongly refutes all the recent baseless and unfounded allegations that are running on social media regarding the airline’s involvement in transporting war armament and soldiers to the Tigray region,” the airline posted on Twitter.
Ethiopian Airlines strongly refutes all the recent baseless and unfounded allegations by some individuals regarding the airlines’ involvement in transporting war armament. pic.twitter.com/w8kl3TB2gq
— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) August 1, 2021
, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives, compelling hundreds of thousands into famine with claims of rights abuse on both sides.
The allegations appeared on Twitter with pictures of soldiers boarding the airline’s plane.
Ethiopian Airlines countered the allegation by stating that the photographs were photoshopped, old, and unrelated, specifically intended to tarnish their brand.
Flights to and from Tigray, the northernmost part of Ethiopia, were canceled after the conflict erupted in November. The airspace was temporarily reopened for a period but then closed again in July 2020.
“We have had no flight to the region since then, and none of our aircraft landed in the conflict area,” said the airline in a statement.
The United Nations and other aid agencies have pleaded appeals to open air and road routes into Tigray.