Ethiopia scrutinizes Tigraian passengers at Addis airport

Ethiopian Intelligence staff are scrutinizing  passengers, from the war-ravaged region of Tigray, who are traveling to the country’s capital after nearly 2 years hoping normalization of events following a peace pact signed between the warring parties.

However, the passengers are facing a tight scrutiny at the Bole International Airport in thier own country. 

A staff from the National Intelligence and Security Services, NISS, has established a temporary immigration-office-like three counters at the airport where they interrogate Tigraian passanggers from Mekelle and Shire.

On thier arrival, passengers face fierce intterogation and are forced to give a detailed information of thier purpose of visit to Addis Ababa, address of the places they are staying and thier phone numbers. They are also asked what they were doing in the past two years in Tigray.

RSO has learned at least four people were taken from the airport for further interrogation  but couldn’t confirm if they were detained or released eventually.

These passengers were also subjected to a screening process at the airport in Mekelle where they were checked if they are illegible to travel to Addis as the Ethiopian government imposed a travel ban on young people between the age of 15 to 65 unless they are seeking a referral medical treatment or they are accompanying minors or elders.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Airlines posted on it’s Amharic Facebook page today claiming that no passengers were subjected to such a ban at the Mekelle airport as long as they reached the “check-in counters”.

However, the statement from ET apparently seems misleading as it appears to send the message that no ban was imposed on passengers from Mekelle and it doesn’t mention the fact that travellers are being banned from boarding thier flights at the gate of the terminal by NISS staff before they reach the check-in counters of Ethiopian Airlines.

Neither the NISS nor the Federal Police yet gave the reasons to impose the ban and scrutiny on Tigraian passengers.

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