Connect with us


President Uhuru to engage Somali leaders to lift the ban on Khat



NAIROBI—The Kenyan Foreign affairs department has contacted the Somali government in a bid to convince to Mogadishu to allow the transportation of Khat to Somalia.

In a briefing on Friday, the Kenyan government spokesman Erick Kiraithe said the government was engaging its Somalia counterparts to lift the ban it imposed on Khat early last week.


A young boy hawks Khat twigs on the streets of Mogadishu. Somalia banned the stimulant to pressure a Kenyan governor to rescind statement he made while in Hargeisa about the independence of Somaliland. Photo/ Courtesy

He said the ban has caused Kenyan khat traders, also known as miraa in Swahili, sh 60 million after the ban was made on Monday afternoon.

“The government recognises that the ban has a severe socio-economic impact on the livelihoods of farmers in miraa growing areas. The government is committed to ensure the farmers do not suffer,”Kiraithe said.

He added that President Uhuru Kenyatta would engage his counterpart in Somalia on the matter.

“We would like to tell Kenyans that the ban was not triggered by Meru governor,”Kiraithe said, adding that county governor don’t make foreign policy decision on behalf of the government.

On July, the Meru govenor visited the break-away state of Somaliland to market the stimulant. He told the state leaders that, in return, he would lobby the Kenyan government to recognise Somaliland as an independent state.

Somali ambassador to Kenya Gamal Hassan said his government imposed the ban following Meru govenor’s visit to Hargeisa, saying the governor’s utterations had put pressure on the Somali government to react.

“He linked the territorial integrity of the country to the miraa trade and interfered in our internal affairs. This has created a lot of unbearable pressure on the government. We have suspended the trade to address these matters,”the Somali ambassador said.

It is not the first time a Kenyan leader called for the recognition of the break-away state of Somaliland. In a speech he made in August at Chatham House, an international affairs think-tank, Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga called for the recognition of Somaliland as an independent state prompting backlash from Mogadishu.



Your comments here:


Share it with your friends