BY BILEH JELAN @BILEHJELAN
Addis Abeba, September 06/2021 – Yesterday, Sudanese state media SUNA, and multiple international news outlets reported that Sudanese authorities seized an Ethiopian airlines cargo of 72 boxes of Russian made weapons that arrived in Khartoum international Airport via Addis Abeba.
The shipment was seized by the Empowerment Removal Committee according to Sudan Tribune. The committee tasked with dismantling the former regime. The report said that Sudanese authorities were informed about the shipment of weapons and its intended arrival on Saturday.
In a statement it released this morning, Ethiopian airlines clarified the “shipment of weapons to Sudan is a legal and commercial transportation of hunting guns with all proper documents of the shipper and the consignee.” The shipment was also cleared by both Ethiopian and Sudanese authorities,” Ethiopian said with an attachment of Air waybill or consignment note.
Sudanese media quoted Wajdi Saleh, a member of the Committee, as saying that “the weapons arrived in Ethiopia from Russia in May 2019.”
“Ethiopian authorities had seized the weapons for the past two years, before authorizing its shipment to Khartoum recently.” He argued that the recent allowance of shipment by the Ethiopian authorities is aimed at carrying out crimes against the state, impeding the democratic change, and preventing the transition to the civil state in Sudan.
However, Ethiopian airlines said that the hunting guns were held by security authorities in Addis Abeba for a long time for verification and the consignee sued Ethiopian in Sudanese court to either deliver the hunting guns or pay close to USD250,000 as compensation.
“As we have got a clearance from Ethiopian security authorities after completing the due verification process, we shipped them to the consignee in Sudan. We have all the documentation that proves the legality of the shipment including a letter from Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We have attached the Air waybill or consignment note.”
These recent developments come as tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan are rising over a border dispute and the stalled talks over mega dam, GERD. It also comes in the backdrop of the Ethiopian and Suudanese military exchanging blame over a recent incident in Benishangul Gumuz’s Metekel Zone. AS