This Tuesday, the Ethiopian government told the US military that they could no longer operate an airfield within its borders to conduct drone operations. The operations were reportedly targeted at sites in Somalia and Yemen.
The airfield is located in the town of Arba Minch, and until now it was a steady base of operations where Reaper drone attacks were launched.
“This was done upon request by the Ethiopian government. In the first place, this was a project with a limited timespan and both governments had long prepared themselves for this eventuality,” government spokesman Getachew Reda told Reuters.
David Kennedy, Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Addis Ababa said that they are no longer stationed in that region.
“US military personnel are no longer in Arba Minch. As we work with our African partners, our mutual needs change over time, and a determination was made that our use of the facilities in Arba Minch is no longer necessary,” Kennedy said.
According to the government’s own statistics there are between 600 and 900 US military bases internationally.
The US military will be expanding their disastrous drone program by 50% in the next four years, bringing the number of daily drone flights from 61 to 90. The announcement surprised many Americans, who did not realize that the government was already sending out so many drones on a daily basis and that they were planning on shipping out even more.
“We’ve seen a steady demand signal from all of our geographic combatant commanders to have more of this capability,” Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Defense Department spokesman, told reporters during a press conference at Pentagon.
According to estimates by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism over 5,000 people have been killed by US drone strikes since 2004.
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