Classifieds 50% off, use promo code FBkpkPromo The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Somalia introduces khat ban

SOMALIA: The rattle and honk of trucks carrying bales of the leafy narcotic khat have not been heard in Mogadishu since the government recently announced a surprise import ban.

drugs, health, politics, culture,


AFP

Sunday 25 September 2016, 11:00AM


Khat – also known as miraa – is a red-stemmed, green-leafed plant that has a mildly amphetamine-like effect when chewed, akin to one too many espressos. Photo: Zacharias Abubeker/AFP
Khat – also known as miraa – is a red-stemmed, green-leafed plant that has a mildly amphetamine-like effect when chewed, akin to one too many espressos. Photo: Zacharias Abubeker/AFP

Users, vendors and traders have been left bemused and angry by the unexplained government directive.

“You can’t just say khat is banned without giving reasons or offering alternatives for people who depend on the trade,” said Naciimo Abdiweli, a mother of five who sells the herbal stimulant at one of the many stalls dotted around the Somali capital.

Khat – also known as miraa – is a red-stemmed, green-leafed plant that has a mildly amphetamine-like effect when chewed, akin to one too many espressos.

Among Somalis it has long had social, cultural and religious uses but it is also frequently abused.

Traditionally, chewing was an afternoon activity for men, but increasingly they are also chewing in the morning, evening and throughout the night.

Addicts commonly spend all their money on bunches of leaves and waste hours in a stupor, green drool trickling from between brown-stained teeth. Doctors in Somalia have linked dependency to psychosis and paranoia.

Somalia’s government has also banned aeroplanes that are carrying khat from entering Somali airspace.

While it is enjoyed in Somalia, khat is grown in neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya, both of which have large farming communities relying on its export for their livelihoods.

Somalia’s transport minister Ali Ahmed Jama Jangeli recently refused to give any reason for the ban. No explanation has been offered by any other government officials, leaving traders like Abdiweli at a loss.

“We’ve been told the government stopped flights bringing khat from Kenya and the market is empty now, but we don’t know the reason,” she said.

The Somali decision has upset Kenyan growers too.

“This is a big loss to us,” said Dave Muthuri, chairman of the Kenya Miraa Farmers and Traders Association.

BIS

“Farmers are crying because of the loss they are incurring. It caught everyone off-guard,” he added.

Their crops – which must be transported fresh before the leaves wilt – have languished in sacks in Meru, where it is grown in Kenya’s centre, and at the nation’s Wilson Airport from where it is flown to Somalia.

Muthuri said no khat had left Kenya since Sept 7 and that dozens of tonnes of the plant were going to waste. In Mogadishu, at the receiving end of the khat supply chain, business has ground to a halt.

“We are sitting on empty tables at markets waiting for news, but it seems the government does not want to talk to us openly about why they’ve stopped this business,” said Ahmed Ugaas, a khat trader.

But while some are concerned by the social damage done by khat, others believe it helps keep the volatile city calm.

“I believe that khat consumption played an important role in maintaining tranquillity,” said Mohamed Abdisalam, a grocer.

“Most of the gunmen go and sit chewing every day from 11 in the morning, can you imagine what they will do when they don’t have khat? They will go onto the streets and cause havoc!” he predicted.

Khat is banned in the US, Canada and most of Europe – all places with large diaspora Somali communities.

But no government or authority has ever succeeded in banning it in Somalia, not the military dictatorship, the warlords nor the Islamic extremists.

“It’s a matter of days and then business will be back to normal”, said Zakariye Mohamed, a regular khat consumer untroubled by the interruption in his supply.

“The military regime [of Siad Barre] was mightier than this government but they could not succeed in banning it. Even Al-Shabaab, who kill people, could not stop it,” he said. “This thing is very tricky.”

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
CAPTCHA
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Toilet mishap leaves Phuket student hospitalised

What is the purpose of the Thai propensity for slick floor tiling that is like ice when wet? Easier to clean or it "looks" better ? I sl...(Read More)


Phuket top-brass police transferred, face corruption probe

the usual penalty just move them to a quiet town away from a popular place like phuket...(Read More)


Toilet mishap leaves Phuket student hospitalised

Kurt...LOL. Good lord, signs? how about a sign to be careful on tiles when walking? or watch door...it is closed. ...(Read More)


Phuket truck owner donates B20k towards Sophie Anderson’s funeral

Paully44...how on earth can I be "grossly over analyzing" your comments. At least if you are going to say something make sure it's right...(Read More)


Phuket top-brass police transferred, face corruption probe

Finally, a beginning of the police corruption cleaning up on Phuket. Do not forget Chalong Police station! That is a pirate nest! With all the bars,...(Read More)


Phuket top-brass police transferred, face corruption probe

"to prevent any damage to the government" The entire country of Thailand and most of planet earth already know Thailand is corrupt to the...(Read More)


Areas in Phuket Town to have water shut off tomorrow

Eagle; listen what both Rorii & Kurt are saying if they are going to preplan a power cut off just tell the community so they can make alternative ...(Read More)


Phuket taxi, tuk-tuk drivers rally against Patong parking crackdown

Kurt,you wrote you have been in Nanai-Road a long long time ago.Maybe you should take a look now.And looking at Patong from above?How about privacy?An...(Read More)


Phuket Town nightclub damaged in daytime fire

Tourists have to realize that clubs on Phuket are dangerous in framework of electric security thinking. Electric works are not like you expect it to ...(Read More)


Areas in Phuket Town to have water shut off tomorrow

Rorii,no guessing here.I did my research.Now i could give you a hint,but i prefer to keep you in the dark.And if someone is so bedridden that he can n...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.