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Dozens arrested in Mandera for violent protest against khat ban

Over twenty people have been arrested in Mandera county after miraa traders engaged police in running battles over Khat ban in the region.

The county late week banned khat sale in the region to curb Coronavirus infection.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba who suspended the transportation and sale of miraa in the county said the decision was to minimize the high risk of transmission of the Covid-19 virus while handling the commodity.

The Governor is yet to clarify how long the directive will be in place.

Hundreds of traders barricaded roads leading into Mandera town by burning tyres and blocking the Mandera-Nairobi highway.

They were chanting ‘allow us trade’ saying that the crop is an important economic activity and the ban was affecting livelihoods in the region.

Mandera County Commissioner Onesmus Kathya said the suspects will be arraign into court for creating disturbance in the town.

The ban has been effected in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera with Bula Hawa in Somalia also banning the sale of the twig.

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