(EP) The 71 km asphalt road (pictured) connecting the port of Assab to Bure on Ethiopia border is finished.
Assab which was one of the busiest Horn of Africa port was purchased by the Rubattino Shipping Company in 1869 and the site of Italy’s first settlement in Eritrea.
The Addis Abeba – Assab road is 882 km long and 811 km in Ethiopia, and the remaining 71 km in the Eritrean area.
Economically, it had been the lifeline of Ethiopia’s sea trade as well as its primary source of salt and refined oil products.
At the time of independence, Eritrea government granted Ethiopia continued free and unfettered access to Assab’s port facility. However, the Tigrayan regime (TPLF) in Addis wanted to annex Assab by force for their planned Greater Tigrayan Republic which the intended independence from Ethiopia is finally squashed in 2018.
The Assab-Bure road has not been used for two decades since a two-year war broke out between the two countries in 1998 due to TPLF’s wicked dream.
Last year, Ethiopian reformist Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed acknowledged the challenge after visiting Assab, “we want to use Eritrean ports, for reasons you know. When we request the Eritrean government to use the ports, they say, ‘the road is damaged it hasn’t been operation for twenty-years, we need to repair it, And to repair the road we need design, the port wasn’t functional for twenty-years, there is no power and no cranes, we have to accomplish this and that, And that requires financing. We need to prepare.’ When they say that, we have to prepare by repairing our side of the road to Bure and we should not tell them to start with the available roads they have.”
A year later, Eritrean construction companies with its internal resource finished the 71km Assab to Bure dirt road to a ‘spanking’ new asphalt road to serve the people of Ethiopia.