Traffic Restored on Major Mogadishu Highway after 10-Year Closure

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Traffic has been restored on Mogadishu’s KM4-Tarabunka highway after ten year long closure during which Qatar and Turkish embassies have been headquartered in the area.

Roadblocks and several adjacent layers of concrete walls were constructed on the road 10 years ago as the area became home to Qatar and Turkish embassies.

Qatar’s embassy, the last remaining in the heavily fortified area moved to an unspecified area of the capital city earlier this week, since then security forces began removing roadblocks on major highway in Mogadishu, which was instrumental in efforts to ease congestion in the city’s roads.

Since Mohamed Hussein Roble has been named Prime Minister last month, the federal government promised to ease road closures and traffic restrictions despite dozens of roads still remaining closed for security reasons.

Mr Roble supervised the newly opened road on Sunday evening and pledged to do more in delivering on his promises to end traffic disruptions in the war-ravaged Somali capital, which is home to more than four million residents.

Before its closure, the road was at the heart of transportation of Mogadishu, linking between neighborhoods in the city’s south and north, and in particular between KM-4 and Tarabunka neighborhoods.

With only a few months to go until elections, many believe the new efforts to restore traffic on a few roads in the capital after being closed for more than three years are aimed to amplify the incumbent president’s campaign to win reelection, challenged by his former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and his predecessors.

Despite closure of major roads and the omnipresence of security forces at intersections, explosions and other attacks carried out by the Islamist militants still continue, mainly hitting high-profile government and AU targets.

In the past week, demonstrations made by bus drivers hit the Somali capital, demanding the restoration of traffic in key avenues, citing hurdles caused by the ever-growing road closures to their livelihoods and that of their passengers.

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