Home Ethiopian Video Ethio-Djibouti railway line security challenges 

Ethio-Djibouti railway line security challenges 



Ethio-Djibouti railway line, a  $500 million dollar share company based on a report from state media, has been struggling with security challenges both on passengers and cargo trains. 

There were as many as 533 security incidents just in one year – and this was revealed in the state media. The entity that is causing the security problem is left murky. 

Abdi Zenebe, the executive director, highlighted that the railway line is contributing immensely to Ethiopia’s economy. The cargo service was essential for much of the coffee that Ethiopia exported. 

The nature of the security challenges is unspecified. But Mr. Abdi sees that resolving the problem is the responsibility of several stakeholders. 

Watch the brief video clip below. 

Video : embedded from EBC YouTube channel 

Cover photo : screenshot from the video 


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  1. Security issues were present even in the old Chemin de Fer. There were never hostage, kidnapping or killings of passenger in those days but there were break-ins and thefts for decades then. First the targets were food, tobacco and textile products. Then after the arrival of radio transistors and portable cassette players those were the targets for the thieves. But those did not take place quite so often. Most of the times the perpetrators were caught and sent to prison for years. The entire railway line from Dewele to Addis/Finfine used to be guarded by the citizens who lived along the railway line because it was their life line. It was their bread and butter. On the days when there was no train the unemployment on those railway station shot up to 100% and when the train arrived the unemployment goes to 0%. That was how critical to the economic well being of the residents in those small towns. Then Mengistu came to run it and ran it to the ground. Nowadays we have bigots who wreaking havoc everywhere and it will be natural and this railway line could be easy target for their repugnant behavior. These are demonic bigots who target factories. Can you believe that? They pillage and destroy factories. Don’t you dare tell me these are ‘liberation fronts’! Don’t even think about it!!!

    But the old Chemin de Fer had given me fond memories. It had introduced me to technology and the mechanics it was built on. It gave the first class in mechanical engineering when I watched those monster pistons going back and forth on that black and earth shaking steam locomotive affectionately called waraba/jibo during my tender years. It had exposed me to entrepreneurship. After all how can I forget the addictive harfaa(train surfing)? Those are life time fond memories we discuss when former friends had the chance to see each other. But over the last decade or so my crowd has been thinning in numbers.


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