Ethiopian Airlines has issued a statement on the shipment of weapons by an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft to Khartoum, Sudan from Addis Ababa.
In a statement issued via Twitter, Ethiopian Airlines says the shipped weapons were legal and had all required documents including those of the shipper and the consignee.
“We would like to respond to the wrong article which appeared in SUNA, Sudan News Agency. Ethiopian Airlines 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 hunting guns were held by security authorities in Addis Ababa 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,” the airline stated.
This is after Sudan’s authorities seized a shipment of weapons arriving at Khartoum airport from Ethiopia, state news agency SUNA reported on Sunday.
The shipment, which was confiscated late Saturday, arrived on an Ethiopian Airlines passenger flight, prompting an immediate launch of investigations, the news agency reported.
The authorities said the shipment contained 72 boxes of weapons and night vision binoculars.
“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 prove the legality of the shipment including a letter from Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” noted Ethiopian.
On Monday, Sudan’s interior ministry said the shipment, which included 290 rifles and belonged to a licensed trader, Wael Shams Eldin, had been checked and found to be legitimate, according to Reuters.
By Victor Shalton Odhiambo