ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia is to start public transportation to two of its neighbors Kenya and Djibouti later this year.
The statement was made on Friday by Director General of Ethiopia Transportation Authority (ETA) Kassahun Hailemariam who said the scheme is part of plans for people to people exchanges and inter-regional economic integration between East African nations.
Public transportation to another neighboring country Sudan has already started last March, transporting passengers from Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa 1,500 kms away to Sudanese capital Khartoum.
Ongoing hostility with its northern neighbor Eritrea and the civil war in South Sudan however has thwarted plans by the Ethiopian government for even more wider regional transport links.
Landlocked Ethiopia currently uses ports in Djibouti for about 95 percent of its external trade, with Sudanese ports largely filling the rest of Ethiopia's external trade route needs.
Ethiopia has also recently finished a road project linking it with its southern neighbor Kenya with hopes to use Mombasa port in the near future as an alternative sea outlet.