Families of Ethiopian fighter pilot Bezabeh Petros say he is alive

The family says that the report by Eritrean Press regarding Ethiopian fighter pilot Colonel Bezabeh Petros does not have any concrete evidence. His brother says they have information where he in in Eritrea.

Professor Beyene Petros. ( Photo : from Beyene Petros SM page)

June 9, 2020

This past weekend an Eritrean news source, Eritrean Press, reported that Bezabeh Petros, an Ethiopian fighter pilot who was shot down while on an airstrike mission in Eritrea during the border conflict, “died of a natural cause in Asmara” several years after he was captured (and borkena reported about it) 

However, the families of the Bezabeh Petros say that he is alive.  DW Amharic cited, on Monday, the families of Bezabeh as saying that information emerging on social media is not concrete and contradicts with the information.

Professor Beyene Petros, Bezabeh’s brother and a notable politician in the opposition quarter said “What we know is that Colonel Bezabeh is alive. We have mistrust about the information that is emerging. Because they are not supported by concrete evidence.” 

The claim that he died several years ago is contradictory to the information we have. “Some people whom we trust have told us that they have seen the Colonel months ago. They even have information about where he is in Eritrea including the institution he is in,” Professor Beyene Petros told DW Amharic.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not remark on the issue so far. The government of Eritrea has not said anything officially, either.

Colonel Bezabeh Petros has served in the Ethiopian Air Force since the Somalia invasion of Ethiopia in the late ’70s and was awarded the highest award.

When a border war broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1998, the government needed his service.  What is known about the mission during the war is that he parachuted when the jet he was flying was shot.

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