Somalia: Khat traders cease importing Miraa from Kenya
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Miraa traders in the Somali capital, Mogadishu have joined the diplomatic spat and sided with the national government and say they will halt importing Miraa from Kenya, Garowe Online reports.
Speaking to the reporters in the capital on Tuesday, Khat traders Association chairman Qoobe Mohamud Qayliye said their decision will come into effect tomorrow and will switch Miraa business to Ethiopia.
"We cannot trade the country’s sovereignty and national boundaries for Kenya's Miraa business. We resolved to shift our market to Ethiopia from Tomorrow," he added.
This came after Kenya recalled its ambassador to Mogadishu, Lucas Tumbo over an alleged auction of oil and gas blocks in maritime territorial areas claimed by both countries in London conference held on 7th February.
According to Kenya's National Bureau of Statistics, the Horn of Africa impoverished country still remains Kenya’s key Miraa market, importing about 50 tones of Khat daily that is valued at more than $1 million.
At least sixteen flights land at Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu from Nairobi every day transporting tonnes of the leafy stimulant.
The relations between Somalia and Kenya is worsening as they are loggerheads over maritime border dispute which is pending before the International Court of Justice [ICJ] in the Netherlands.
Kenya is one of five East African countries that contributed combat troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] which is helping the weak Federal Government in Mogadishu in the war on Al-Shabaab.