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With Chinese Loans Coming Due, Ethio-Djibouti Railway Suffers Heavy Losses Due to Theft, Vandalism

Zacharias ABUBEKER / AFP

The Chinese-financed and constructed Ethiopia-Djibouti standard gauge railway is bleeding money due to rampant theft and vandalism, according to a report in the Addis Standard newspaper. The situation is now so bad, say company officials, that the trains have been forced to reduce their speed from 80kmh to just 50kmh due to damage along the railway’s infrastructure.

Not surprisingly, this is leading to persistent revenue losses that also endanger the two countries’ ability to repay the $4 billion of Chinese loans needed to build the SGR. Ethiopia rescheduled its portion of the loan back in 2018.

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