Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Somalia sets tough terms for end of Kenya miraa ban

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The Somali government has given Kenya five conditions ahead of lifting the blockade of miraa imports.

Nyambene Miraa Traders Association (Nyamita) reckon that talks to end the khat stalemate have hit a snag and Somali has issued demands that must be addressed by Kenya.

The demands include; Kenya must treat Somalia as an equal, desist from interfering with Somalia’s internal affairs, apologise for violating Somalia airspace, allow in goods from Somalia including fish, rice, sugar, honey, meat and milk and Kenya stops forcing flights from Somalia to make a detour to Wajir for inspection.

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Somali had also demanded government-to-government talks after it snubbed a delegation of traders and officials from Kenya crops regulator—Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA).

“Top government officials in Somalia said Kenya has been unresponsive to the issues. We are banking on President Uhuru Kenyatta to resolve the diplomatic tiff,” Nyamita chairman Kimathi Munjuri said.

He said traders had agreed to pay increased tax of $4 per kilo in Somalia and adhere to new guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

“Kenya must take a concrete position on miraa because we are still facing basic challenges locally. This will go a long way in countering the anti-khat campaigners from Europe who have pitched tents in Somalia,” Mr Munjuri said.

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