Miraa traders in Kenya are up in arms after Somalia turned back an aircraft that was delivering 13.6 tonnes of khat to Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway Somaliland region.
The cargo plane was turned back on Saturday despite having received clearance to leave Nairobi and deliver the highly prized commodity to Hargeisa.
Hargeisa, a major consumer of Ethiopian khat, is experiencing a shortage of the stimulant due to ethnic unrest that has hit Ethiopia’s expansive Oromia region for the last five days.
Flight 5YMSA, which had overflight and landing clearance from Somaliland Civil Aviation and Airports Authority, turned back and landed at Wajir International Airport.
According to Somalia based news sites, the cargo plane was denied entry due to the country’s air travel restrictions in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19.
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Radio Dalsan Reporter