Tigrai Onlne - May 17, 2014
Ethiopian Shipping Lines (ESL) inaugurates nine new cargo fleets purchased from China at cost of $300 million. The vessels were inaugurated at the port of Djibouti. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh and other senior government officials were present at the inauguration ceremony.
The nine vessels are named after the capital cities of the nine regional states in Ethiopia. President Ismail said at the inauguration, "Djibouti gives a port service to Ethiopia but it does not consider that it is giving the service to another country but regards it as it is doing it for itself, we believe that Ethiopia is Djibouti and Djibouti is Ethiopia, no difference at all ".Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on his speech "The vessels are not only Ethiopian assets but they are also Djibouti’s properties," "The vessels indicate the rapid development in Ethiopia" he added.
Ethiopia uses Djibouti for most of it’s import and export business. The northern part of Ethiopia is closer to the Eritrean ports of Batse (Mitsiwae) and Asseb, but Ethiopia abandoned the ports after the Eritrean regime invaded Ethiopia in 1998. Ethiopia is building a huge network of train railway lines to connect many parts of the country including northern Ethiopia to Djibouti. The railway lines make the chance of using the Eritrean ports minimal.