Relief as Somalia lifts ban on Kenyan Miraa

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A miraa trader in Mogadishu, Somalia

The Federal Government of Somalia has lifted the ban it had previously imposed on the importation of Kenyan miraa, famously known as khat, into the Horn of Africa country.

On Monday evening, Somalia’s Finance Minister, Dr. Abdirahman Dualeh Brileh told members of the fourth estate traders in the country will be allowed to import the commodity, but using the correct business procedures.

“Traders must import khat into the country by legal means. I hereby declare that nobody is barred from importing khat and [it] can be brought through any entry point if proper regulations are followed,” Dr. Abdirahman said.

Somalia offers Kenya its largest export market for Miraa (khat), a brain stimulant, widely chewed in the war-torn nation. The country had banned the importation of miraa due to the covid pandemic, after all international flights were grounded.

However, apart from the Covid pandemic, Kenya and Somalia have had a strained relationship which continues to affect trade between the two countries.

In 2016, the then Meru Governor Peter Munya, current Agriculture CS caused controversy by visiting Somaliland, a breakaway state from Somalia. Munya , at that time, told Somaliland Kenya would recognize its sovereignty if it allowed miraa into its borders.

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