A major fuel shortage was reported in Addis Ababa and adjacent towns on Tuesday, January 15, due to ongoing protests in Afar region that have obstructed the main highway linking Ethiopia and Djibouti. A heightened police presence was reported near petrol stations in the capital as long lines of motorists waited to fill up their tanks. Continuing fuel shortages and consequent transportation disruptions are to be expected in Addis Ababa and nearby towns over the coming days until the protests and associated supply disruptions are ended.
On January 13, protesters in Afar region (Ethiopia) began a five-day blockade of the main highway connecting Ethiopia to neighboring Djibouti - between Awash and Semera - to denounce rising ethnic violence. The road is the main transit route for goods imported through the port in Djibouti that are destined for Ethiopia. The Ethio-Djibouti railway is reportedly also affected by the protests.
Individuals present in Addis Ababa are advised to monitor the situation, fill up vehicles whenever fuel is available, ensure sufficient fuel reserves before all long journeys, and expect longer waiting times at gas stations. Avoid all related protests and demonstrations.
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