Addis Abeba – The Addis Abeba Transport Bureau, under the Addis Abeba City Administration, banned the three and four-wheel rickshaws (commonly called Bajaj) from movements indefinitely endeavoring to oversee and regulate the transport services they provide. The municipal authorities said the bureau is making some operational amendments while bringing the vehicles under its oversight.
According to the statement, the vehicles have been banned in any area of the city indefinitely as of today until the operational amendments are finalized. Authorities also said the decision has been made in detail regarding the importance of the service.
On Tuesday 07 March, over 100 Bajaj drivers gathered around Haile Garment, Nifas Silk Laft Subcity, in the capital Addis Abeba to protests against city authorities’ decision to ban them from operating on the main roads in the area. The drivers lined up and blocked the road a protest ensuing in confrontations with security forces.
Subsequently several Bajaj drivers were wounded following the clashes between the drivers and security forces. A three-wheeled Bajaj driver in the Jemo neighborhood, Nefas Silk Lafto Subcity, told Addis Standard on conditions of anonymity that the Bajaj drivers halted operations and were sitting idle waiting for further decisions from the authorities.
A joint task force for Peace & Security Operations Force committee issued a statement yesterday saying that the drivers have damaged security and private vehicles by blocking roads and throwing stones during the protest.
“We have taken the necessary security measures,” said Getu Argaw, Addis Abeba Police Commission Commissioner in the statement.
The bureau also banned three-wheeled Bajajs from driving on the main roads and said to immediately register licenses seven months ago mentioning the compromised aesthetic value of the city, the absence of regulating legal framework, not being legally registered, and doesn’t possess permits to operate in the city. The majority of the vehicles registered licenses in the Oromia, Amhara, and South regional states. AS