Road, railway linking Djibouti to Addis Ababa is blocked: Ethiopian official

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The president of Ethiopia’s Somali region said on Wednesday a vital road and rail trade artery linking the landlocked capital of Addis Ababa to the seaport of Djibouti was blocked.

The majority of goods entering Ethiopia, a country of around 110 million people, are transported via that corridor.

Reuters could not independently verify the reported blockage. The Ethiopian prime minister’s office and authorities in Djibouti could not immediately be reached for comment.

Somali region President Mustafa Muhumed Omer said the road and rail had been blocked by local youth protesting against an attack on Saturday.

His government said on Tuesday that militia from the neighbouring region of Afar had attacked and looted a town, the latest flare-up in a local boundary dispute that adds to high tensions in the Horn of Africa nation.

“We are working to open the Djibouti rail and road today,” Omer told Reuters in a text message. “Discussing with the youth and people,” he added.