Somalia agrees to lift khat ban at end of summit

Presidents of Somalia, Kenya agree to end of ban that threatened farmers' livelihoods

Somalia agrees to lift khat ban at end of summit

World Bulletin / News Desk

Flights carrying the mild narcotic khat will resume to Somalia on Wednesday, the Kenyan foreign minister said Tuesday.

A ban the import of the plant by Somalia on Sept. 5 has seen Kenyan farmers lose millions of dollars and prices in Somali capital Mogadishu increase a hundred-fold.

Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed announced the resumption of the trade following a side meeting on the last day of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit in Mogadishu.

Mohamed said the presidents of Somalia and Kenya had agreed the lifting of the ban.

Meanwhile, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud released a letter informing the media that Kenya was to review the procedure whereby flights from Somalia to Kenya have to stopover in Wajir Airport in northeast Kenya before continuing to Nairobi.

It was unclear whether the two issues were connected but it had been suggested last week that the khat ban had been imposed for the duration of the IGAD meeting, the first major international event to be staged by the Somali government.

Khat, which produces a mild amphetamine-like effect when chewed, has long-established social and cultural uses among Somali men. The plant is mostly grown in Kenya and Ethiopia, where it has become a valuable cash crop.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Eylül 2016, 10:55