Top Ethiopian fighter pilot killed: Zenawi’s regime is a suspect

November 7th, 2006 Print Print Email Email

A top Ethiopian Air Force commander, Major Daniel Beyene, was killed early Saturday while driving from Addis Ababa to Debre Zeit. Major Beyene was killed at the same place where he was abducted in 1998 by Zenawi’s security forces along with another pilot, Captain Teshome Tenkolu. Both senior pilots were held incommunicado for two years since 1998.

He was killed at around 3:00 AM at the desolate site near Dukem, and was returning from an EPRDF party at the former Officers Club now known as Golf Club. Major Daniel was ordered to attend the party before he was ordered to return to his home town Debre Zeit in the wee hours of the night.

Observers said his skull bore bullet holes despite attempts to give the look of a car accident to the murder. His car was smashed from the front and back, observers said, and his body was found 15 meters away from the site of the crash.

Major Beyene’s compatriot, Captain Teshome Tenoklu, was later appointed as director of an Air Force Flight Training School in Mekelle, until he fled to Eritrea in 2003, flying one of the flight school’s planes.

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