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Somalia lifts ban on importation of Kenyan khat after IGAD Summit

Somalia lifts ban on importation of Kenyan khat after IGAD Summit

Somalia

Somalia has lifted the ban on the importation of the herbal stimulant khat from Kenya on Tuesday.

The decision was taken on the sidelines of East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Summit in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu and confirmed by Kenya’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“The ban on khat will be lifted by September 14,” Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs Amina Mohammed said after the summit.

Somalia banned the import of the plant on September 5 without any explanation. The decision received a lot of condemnation from Kenyan farmers and traders who are the main exporters to the country.

Khat has been banned in a number of countries including the US, Canada and most of Europe where it is illegal due to its effects similar to amphetamines which leads to abuses.

The bitter shrub is chewed in Somalia for religious, social and cultural reasons providing a euphoric feeling.

It is very popular in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.