Somali & Kenyan Khat Cartels Want To Kill Me, Awale Says, Demands Govt. Protection
British-Somali anti-Khat activist Mr. Abukar Awale on Thursday demanded protection from the Federal Somali Government saying his life is in danger after he received death threats from Kenyan and Somali khat cartels, Radio Dalsan reports.
Mr Awale who is now based in Mogadishu after returning from the UK placed billboards depicting negative effects of khat to people especially the Somali youth, within the city.
On Wednesday night the billboards were destroyed and death threats issued to him.
“Khat dealers in Kenya and their people here last night destroyed anti khat billboards and at the same time threatened to shoot me dead in Mogadishu in the coming days”, said Awale said in a post on his Facebook account.
“Allah can kill me but to threaten me for saying what is prohibited while I’m in my country and in my city is wrong” he added.
Mr Awale says the Somali government has neglected his previous calls to protect him.
“It’s my will for the Somali people to know that in case my day comes and I’m killed in Mogadishu, it’s the federal government of Somalia that neglected me”, said the activist.
The activist spearheaded a campaign that led to the banning of Khat in the UK in 2014.
The chewing of the stimulant twigs grown in the Meru highlands of Kenya Khat is a popular pass time for a significant number of Somalis.
In 2017 Somalia became the third biggest buyer of Kenyan goods 90% of the import being Khat according to the Kenya National Bureau Of Statistics.