July 19, 2014
A report by the Washington Post that appeared on July 18, 2014 states that Northern Part of i.e. the Ethiopian airspace north of 12 degrees latitude, is a prohibited and restricted area that aircraft cannot fly over as the Ethiopian authorities may fire upon an aircraft. This region is the Tigray region of Ethiopia where the current ruling Front, TPLF, is based and hails from. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regularly issues airspace restrictions and prohibitions for U.S. aircraft traveling through potentially hostile airspace. The expanded regulation came out again after Flight 17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17.
The only three countries that have this “flight prohibition” are Ethiopia, Libya and Somalia. While Mali, Kenya and Congo are declared as “potentially hostile zones”.
The report says,
Flight operations are prohibited in Ethiopian airspace north of 12 degrees latitude. The FAA also warns that Ethiopian forces may fire upon aircraft crossing into Ethiopian airspace from northeastern Kenya.
There is no specified expiration date for the ban. The Tigray region of Ethiopia has seen so many wars in the past and is also the region that borders Eritrea. Although Tigray had experienced attacks by the Eritrean air force during the border war between 1998- 2000, there is no particular reason why it should issue a flight ban over the region while Eritrea has not issued any prohibition. Observers argue that the prohibition may have to do with Ethiopian regime’s plan of using its region as a ‘safe zone of hiding’ in times of revolution or rebellion.