Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeEthiopian NewsSecurity Forces reluctant to prevent Khat smuggling out of country

Security Forces reluctant to prevent Khat smuggling out of country

Khat. Image : SM

By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Ethiopian Customs Commission here that Security Forces have not been cooperative enough to prevent Khat smuggling out of the country from Somali Region and the environs. The weekly Amharic Reporter said in its Sunday issue that the Security Forces of Somali Region and other forces deployed in the area have not been showing cooperation to support the legal export of Kaht. 

Deputy Commissioner of Customs Law of the Ethiopian Customs Commission, Muluken Beyene told Reporter that Khat has been smuggled out of the country on the pretext of “domestic consumption”.

The Commissioner said that Somali Region and other security forces deployed in the area have not been cooperative enough to support legal export procedure as per customs laws and through conviction of exporters.

Due to this, as the Khat export is at risk, efforts are being made to the level of standing guard overnight watching the product, not to lose the foreign currency the country should get in the sector, according to Muluken. He said that efforts are being exerted to follow the legal Khat export process.

Muluken said that though the contraband challenges are multi-faceted, failure to coordinate and collaborate in defense of the illegal exporting practice is the biggest challenge. “Customs Commission and Federal Police are not the only responsible bodies to prevent Khat smuggling out of the country. Regional customs bureaus including security bodies should also come forward to support the endeavors,” Muluken said.

There are some regions, which are standing against the initiatives taken to prevent Khat smuggling out of the country; the commissioner said adding that the Customs Commission is not fighting only with smugglers in the City Zone, a place located in Somali Region. 

Muluken said that armed militias in the City Zone are supporting smugglers. “Here, as the armed militias support smugglers and traders, it has been very difficult to prevent and curb the problem,” according to Muluken.

To give a lasting solution to the problem and prevent the community from aligning with illicit traders, multi sectoral efforts are being made by raising awareness among the people.


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  1. I hope everyone over there will give up on this highly addictive herb and eradicate from the face of that country. This is a plant that a professor at some joint among us has been defending it as a sacred property of my Oromo people. I don’t know how he came up with such absurd conclusion. I hope the people will rise up some day soon and torch this drug to extinction.

  2. The Oromumma/ PP apparachiks, who are craving now for unlimited power and wealth accumulation for themselves like predecessor of the TPLF/EPRDF, have been spouting these kinds of nonsensical economic theories as public policies this days to remain relevant. There are bigger problems and rampant corruption,plundering and incompetence going on within government’s own department’s and public sector than this trivial private sector issues. I’m sure that both majority of private Chat farmers and Chat traders have legal licenses and pay due tax to the government. If anything , there minimal informal and tolerable trade activity in the sector that the regional government are reluctant to involve in because it is hard to enforces or because it is related to local consumption or connected to negligible trade activites across the vast borous borders of neighbors where people are the same and farmers and local people tolerated for its existence and that is how the private activities work everywhere in the world. Don’t also forget it is locally perishable product for consumption unlike cereals or coffee beans. There will be potential legal and power abuse with huge cost in terms of monetary value and human resources if government tries to involves in it but that is exactly what these currupt officials after and arguing for. They should be talking about, instead, an opportuinty of how to export again Khat trade to world that banned few years ago and where the country has lost with millions of dollars . Yes, it is banned now as being third rate drug substance but so are alcohol products and tobacco by some countries but that didn’t stop exporting to the world with even greater zeal. It is just matter of smart marking strategies, persistence and good and far-sightedn government policies . Where are they in Ethiopia ? No one has clue still as to has happened or what to do next, if anything, so they have to pursue a trivial and informal local cumsuption activities as a relevant public trade policy. What a pity!


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