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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05DJIBOUTI568 2005-06-13 15:02:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

UPDATE ON ETHIOPIAN HELICOPTER CREW ASYLUM REQUEST

Tags:   PREL MOPS MARR PGOV ET DJ 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					C O N F I D E N T I A L DJIBOUTI 000568 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF AND PM

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/13/2015
TAGS: PREL MOPS MARR PGOV ET DJ
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON ETHIOPIAN HELICOPTER CREW ASYLUM REQUEST

REF: DJIBOUTI 562

Classified By: AMBASSADOR MARGUERITA D. RAGSDALE.
REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) Deputy Director of National Security Service,
Abdillahi Mohamed Abdillahi, told Embassy officer that the
highest ranking official among the helicopter crew that
sought asylum in Djibouti 6/9 (see reftel) had been a
"general." It is unclear if this individual actually piloted
the aircraft. According to Abdillahi, the helicopter
involved in the asylum attempt had been taken out of Dire
Dawa and flown to Djibouti. Djibouti had decided to hand
over the three who commandeered the craft, Abdillahi said,
because of an agreement among limitrophe countries that if
property is stolen in an effort to gain asylum in a
neighboring country, that country would deny asylum and
return the individual or individuals and the property to the
country of origin.



2. (C) During preparation for repatriation by air, however,
the pilot who had commandeered the helicopter created a scene
on the tarmac, and refused to board the aircraft for the
return. The transfer was called off, temporarily, but later
re-activated after consultation with President Guelleh. As a
result, according to Abdillahi, actual repatriation did not
occur until the following day, 6/10, and it took place over
land. (Note: We have not independently confirmed. End note.)



3. (C) The fate of the individuals upon their return to
Ethiopia is not known at this time. Expulsion from the
military, prison, or execution are likely results. As for
the reasons for the asylum attempt in the first place, only
discontent with the current political situation in Ethiopia
has been cited.
RAGSDALE