State eco­nom­i­cal with the truth over mi­raa ban

The Star (Kenya) - - The Big Punch - KIRIMI MURITHI

The na­tional gov­ern­ment and the county gov­ern­ment of Meru have in the re­cent past traded ac­cu­sa­tions over the short-lived ban on mi­raa ex­ports to the Fed­eral Repub­lic of So­ma­lia.

In the pe­riod pre­ced­ing the ban of mi­raa flights to So­ma­lia, the gov­ern­ment of So­ma­lia had is­sued a com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the ef­fect that all flights in and out of So­ma­lia would be tem­po­rar­ily stopped. It was a se­cu­rity mea­sure due to the high­level 28th Igad Ex­tra­or­di­nary Sum­mit of Heads of States and Gov­ern­ment on Septem­ber 13 in Mo­gadishu.

Dur­ing this time, mi­raa cargo planes were also af­fected. Con­se­quently, mi­raa farm­ers and traders recorded huge losses as tonnes of the green gold went to waste.So­ma­lia is the largest re­main­ing mar­ket. This elicited com­plaints across the mi­raa-grow­ing strongholds of Meru and among thou­sands of other peo­ple em­ployed in the sec­tor.

Then, the So­mali Em­bassy in Kenya is­sued a state­ment say­ing Kenyan mi­raa had been banned for al­leged med­dling in So­ma­lia’s in­ter­nal af­fairs and sovereignty by Meru Gover­nor Peter Munya.

The state­ment by So­mali Am­bas­sador to Kenya Ga­mal Has­san said Munya had, dur­ing his visit the break­away So­ma­liland, is­sued a state­ment that ap­peared “to in­ter­fere with the ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of So­ma­lia” — prompt­ing the ban.

In a quick re­join­der, Munya said the tem­po­rary ban was be­cause of the Igad meet­ing and it would be lifted im­me­di­ately the meet­ing ended.

It is re­ported Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta talked to So­ma­lia Pres­i­dent Sheikh Mo­hamud for the ban to be lifted. A keen fol­lower of the al­leged diplo­matic row can­not fail to no­tice glar­ing grey ar­eas in the sovereignty-in­ter­fer­ence nexus ad­vanced by the state.

First if the ban was linked to the al­leged recog­ni­tion of break­away So­ma­liland, then So­ma­lia should have banned our mi­raa in May 2014 when the then For­eign Af­fairs PS Karanja Kibi­cho an­nounced plans to open a con­sulate in Hargeisa, cap­i­tal of the break­away re­gion.This pointed to a clear for­eign pol­icy ap­proach that ap­peared to point to some form of recog­ni­tion of the au­ton­omy of So­ma­liland by the Kenyan gov­ern­ment.

Sec­ond, Ethiopia has been trad­ing with So­ma­liland and So­ma­lia has never com­plained of Ethiopia’s in­ter­fer­ence with its sovereignty. One also reads mis­chief on Am­bas­sadors Has­san’s part be­cause his state­ment seemed to con­tra­dict the com­mu­ni­ca­tion is­sued by the Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity of So­ma­lia which an­nounced a ban of all flights, in­clud­ing mi­raa cargo flights, dur­ing the Igad meet. Munya had pub­licly said the mi­raa cargo flights would re­sume af­ter the sum­mit. That is what hap­pened. Who is not telling the truth?

The writer is a Star cor­re­spon­dent

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