December 23, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) –Another big blow to TPLF/Weyane regime a senior Ethiopian air force pilot has defected to neighbouring Eritrea along with two trainees and a fighter helicopter during a training session.
In a statement it issued to the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) on Monday, the ministry of defence said the pilot had forced the co-pilot and technician to divert their helicopter to the Red Sea nation.
However, the statement did not provide further details on what measures the pilot took to force the co-pilot and the technician to comply.
As per reliable sources the military helicopter landed at an area called Aishihada, some 40km from the Eritrean port city of Assab.
According to the exclusive source, the defected pilot, who identity has not yet been made public, was immediately granted his request for asylum on arrival.
The fate of the other crew members is not yet known.
Some sources have identified the two missing pilots as Captain Samuel Ghidey and Lieutenant Yililign Mekonen.
The latest defection brings the total number Ethiopian air force pilots to have defected this year to Eritrea to 11, with eight deserting in October alone.
Relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea remain at odds over long-standing border disputes.
A bitter war between the two countries from 1998 to 2000 claimed the lives of an estimated 70,000 people.