Ethiopian Foreign Ministry Denies Tigray Airstrikes Forced UN Aid Planes to Return

© REUTERS / Tiksa NegeriMembers of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) prepare to head to mission in Sanja, Amhara region, near a border with Tigray, Ethiopia November 9, 2020
Members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) prepare to head to mission in Sanja, Amhara region, near a border with Tigray, Ethiopia November 9, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.10.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry denied that airstrikes by the government on Tigray's capital of Mekelle reportedly caused two planes of the United Nations to return to Addis Ababa.
The statement of the country's foreign ministry elaborated on the untrue reports by several media who assumed that the planes with humanitarian aid heading to Mekelle returned to the Ethiopian capital on Friday due to attacks by the state air force on the rebellious city.
"On the same day [as Ethiopian Air Force conducted airstrikes against rebel targets in Tigray], two UN aid planes licensed by the Federal Government of Ethiopia returned to Addis Ababa after being denied permission by local air traffic controllers to land in Mekelle," the foreign ministry said on Facebook.
The ministry highlighted that despite some media reporting that the Ethiopian military targets civilian infrastructure, the air force targets "only communication and military training facilities used by the terrorist group."
Displaced people are seen at the Shire campus of Aksum University, which was turned into a temporary shelter for people displaced by conflict, in the town of Shire, Tigray region, Ethiopia, March 15, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.10.2021
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