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News: Bus transport to Tigray via Afar resumes, route through Amhara region remains inaccessible

Selam Bus (Photo: Selam Bus Line Share Company)

Addis Ababa – Inland public transportation connecting the Tigray region with the capital Addis Abeba, halted due to the two-year war in Northern Ethiopia, was restarted on Saturday, as the first bus operated by private bus transport operator Selam Bus reached Addis Abeba onboard 51 travelers.

Birhane Kebede, Selam Bus Mekelle branch manager, told Addis Standard that the bus safely arrived in the capital after traveling 1083 kilometers via the Afar region, adding that the bus operator will be dispatching one bus from Mekelle to Addis Abeba and vice versa on a daily basis.

He said that the company is still waiting for the de facto route via the Amhara region which is only 783 kilometers, and shorter compared to the Afar one to be opened. The Addis Abeba-Mekelle road via the Amhara region has been closed off following rising tension between the Amhara and Tigray regions long before the start of the war in November 2020.

According to Birhane, the tariff of transportation from Mekelle to Addis Abeba via the Afar region costs 2052 birr while the route via the Amhara region costs only 1488 birr.

In his remarks during a live event in Addis Abeba on Sunday afternoon which was organized to recognize stakeholders who played roles in ending the two years war between the federal government and Tigrayan forces, Getachwe Reda, Tigray’s interim president confirmed the resumption on Saturday of road transport to and from Tigray via the Afar region.  

He appealed to the president of the Amhara regional state Yelikal Kefale (PhD) who was in attendance of the event to facilitate the opening of the route crossing the Amhara region and urged restoration of normalcy between the neighboring states. 

The resumption of road transport to Tigray is the latest episode of the restoration of basic services including resumption of air travel, opening up of banking services and restoration of telecommunication following the permanent cessation of hostilities agreement signed on 02 November between the Ethiopian government and the Tigrayan authorities. AS

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