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Somali ban on khat imports comes into force

Man chews on Somali khat in Sanaa, Yemen
Man chews on Somali khat in Sanaa, Yemen

Mogadishu’s international airport authorities yesterday refused to receive about 16 cargo flights full of khat following the Somali government’s decision to temporarily prohibiting imports of the plant.

Speaking to the Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity, an official at the airport said that the airport did not receive the flights carrying khat leaves from Kenya.

He pointed out that the khat reception areas at the airport are empty and closed.

The Somali government’s decision shocked a large segment portion of the country which relies on the khat trade.

Safeya, a khat seller, said the decision to ban khat consumption proves how the government ignores its citizens, adding that the government should have informed them before the announcement so they could prepared for the consequences.

Before the ban, Somalia used to receive about 30 cargo flights full of khat every day, which were used to be distributed by traders among all the cities that were not under the Somali Youth Movement’s control.

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