(photo credit: AP)
Seven Ethiopian officers who defected to Eritrea while in Israel were flown to Eritrea Wednesday night.
The officers originally came to Israel for a private military course. The Eritrean ambassador told Israel Radio that the Ethiopians came to his residence Tuesday asking for political refuge.
After housing them and consulting with his government, UN agencies, and the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Eritrea decided to fund the officers' chartered flight to Asmara and to take in the defectors, since they were reportedly of Eritrean origin.
The two neighboring African countries have been at war in the past over border disputes. The international community is concerned that the tensions may lead to renewed fighting.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry emphasized they had nothing to do with the officers' defection.