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March 22, 2018

Somalia bans Kenya miraa planes from its airspace

Porters gather around a truck carrying miraa in Mogadishu, Somalia, August 6, 2014. /REUTERS/Feisal Omar
Porters gather around a truck carrying miraa in Mogadishu, Somalia, August 6, 2014. /REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Somalia has stopped the entry of Kenya's miraa planes into its airspace effective Tuesday, spelling doom for the sector.

Aviation minister Ali Ahmed said this on Sunday without giving reasons for the decision that he said will stand until further notice.

"Any violation on Somali airspace and disregard of this notice will have equal consequences," he said in a letter copied to Internal security and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Somalia is the largest market for Kenya's miraa; more than 16 planes carrying the plant enter Somalia every day.

Farmers had been struggling to sustain markets following miraa export bans by several European states two years ago.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced in April that a budgetary allocation of Sh1 billion would cushion miraa growers from the challenges of the ban.

The historical assent, which was witnessed by Deputy President William Ruto and Meru leaders, gave legal backing for farmers and traders to grow, harvest and sell miraa produce without any hindrances.

More on this: Government allocates Sh1 billion to revive miraa farming


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