Africa

Ethiopian capital bans motorbikes to curb crime

Road in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 14 July 2018 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Food delivery firms have been affected by the ban

A ban on motorbikes has come into force in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, aimed at curbing crime.

The city's mayor said criminals riding motorbikes often robbed people.

Takele Uma said businesses would be exempt, but delivery companies say they have been affected - with their bikes seized by the authorities.

Motorbikes have become increasingly popular in Addis Ababa as a way of avoiding traffic jams, but are not as common as in many other African cities.

Similar bans have been in others places across Africa in a bid to end violent robberies and attacks.

More than a week before the ban came in, a food delivery company, Deliver Addis, told customers that it was suspending services after the authorities seized motorbikes.

On Monday another food delivery service, ZMall, which delivers food for Pizza Hut, announced that they too were no longer taking orders because of the ban.

Motorbikes have been outlawed in some cities of Africa's most populous country Nigeria for nine years.

In Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, commercial motorcycles are banned from entering the city centres where they were seen as a means of quick get-away for thieves, reports the BBC's Nduka Orjinmo.

While in the northern city of Maiduguri they were banned in 2011 to prevent drive-by attacks by the radical Islamist sect, Boko Haram.

These bans have increased the burden on commuters who grapple with heavy traffic that motorcycles were able to avoid, our correspondent says.

Lagos state relaxed some of its ban, allowing ride-sharing motorcycles to operate under strict regulations, he says.

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