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Former OLF leader Kemal Gelechu talks about the state of OLF now

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The establishment of a new corridor which seeks facilitations of smooth flow of international and interstate trade and transport among Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Sudan has faced stern queries from the Ethiopian side. Last year, the four countries have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish an interstate organization, the Djibouti Corridor Authority (DCA) to facilitate trade routes, transports and the like. DCA remains only on papers until the four parties ratify the establishment and proposed strategic plan. Supported by the Government of Japan and proposed by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the new corridor is drafted to be administrated by a ministerial authority designated from the four Horn states. During a meeting held on Wednesday with stakeholders in Addis Ababa, the COMESA draft report on the strategic and financial plans drew attentions from Ethiopian delegates at the meeting. COMESA hired experts according to the Ethiopian side, neglected to contact and engage Ethiopia as they have worked on drafting the strategic plan. Representatives from the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport specifically asked for clarifications on issues of financial sources the new authority will generate as revenue. Taxation and levy cargo as sources of financing for the authority’s operations required explanations. Ethiopian delegates opted for further detailed discussions to be held for the realization of the authority in the foreseeable future. The DCA as stated in the draft strategic plan is hoped to run interstate connectivity projects via highways, railways, pipelines, ports, inland waterways, border posts, terminals, communications systems the like across the countries. However, the proposed DCA still faces challenging issues which could implicate political situations among the interstate relations. According to commentators, the DCA has to set out ways on how to engage and establish healthy economic ties between South Sudan and Sudan.

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