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Somalia sets out a ‘clarification’ on fate of Kenyan khat

MOGADISHU (SD) – Somali government has today dispelled reports claiming the ban on Khat from Kenya was lifted amid diplomatic tensions between Somalia and Kenya ups.

In a video, Somali finance minister, Abdirahman Duale Beileh said he was misquoted, saying Somali only imports Khat from Ethiopia.

‘Federal Government was ready to give license to anyone willing to import khat per set rules and regulations” he said. “I hereby declare that nobody is barred from importing khat if proper regulations are followed.”

Beileh on Monday announced that there was ‘no ban’ on khat imports but did not make any reference to either Kenya or Ethiopia leaving journalists to interpret that the ban on khat imports from any country including Kenya had been dropped.

Somalia suspended Khat importation last March as the country was struggling to stop spread novel coronavirus which was confirmed in Horn of Africa nation in mid-March.

Despite lifting suspension on local and international flights, Somali government extended the ban on Khat from Kenya.

Kenyan traders had severally urged Somali authorities to allow importation of Khat from Kenya by as per reliable sources, Somalia tabled number conditions including demand to export Kenya goods including fish, rice, sugar, honey, meat and milk in exchange of Khat from Kenya.

The Horn of Africa nation also asked treat Somalia as an equal, desist from interfering with Somalia’s internal affairs, apologise for violating Somalia airspace.

Kenya was also asked to stop forcing flights from Somalia to make a detour to Wajir for inspection.

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