Somalia plans to resume cross-border trade – Kenya News Agency
Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Rooble assured members of the Somali business community living in Mombasa that cross-border trade between the countries will resume soon.
It was after Rooble held a closed-door meeting with the Somali business community at the Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa on Wednesday, which informed him of the need for the two countries to strengthen diplomatic ties and work together in permanence in different sectors of the economy.
The Somali government delegation left the scene without addressing journalists who had previously been invited to cover the meeting.
However, the president of the Somali community of Mombasa, Mohamed Ibrahim, addressed the media saying that the prime minister assured them of the resumption of cross-border trade between the two countries after his meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“He really congratulated our president for agreeing to reestablish their relationship and expressed his regret for the brief misunderstanding that affected ordinary people like us who are in business,” Ibrahim added.
The president said he informed Mohamed of the need for the two governments to strengthen diplomatic ties for the sake of traders operating in the two countries. “Without going into the details of his discussions with our President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Prime Minister assured us that the interview will lift all restrictions, especially cross-border businesses,” Ibrahim added.
He added that traders from Kenya and Somalia were engaged in decades of cross-border activities which brought considerable income to both countries.
According to the Mombasa community in Somalia, the prime minister said his country also depends on Kenyan skilled and unskilled labor in different sectors.
“He also told us that they were also affected as there are sectors of their economy that depend on skilled workers from our country and we told him that such good neighborliness should be cultivated,” Ibrahim added. .
He also told reporters that the Somali prime minister had challenged the community to support the two governments in their quest for enhanced security along the two borders.
“Rooble told Somali citizens living and working in this country to support him in his security and peace initiatives,” Ibrahim added.
Somali traders in Mombasa have lamented that the closure of the border and the subsequent suspension of miraa exports to Somalia have had a huge impact on their businesses.
Traders said many freight companies relying on cross-border freight transport have been shut down and the thefts have been grounded.
“Planes carrying miraa and other consignments from Kenya to Somalia are stranded with pilots and workers forced to go without income for a long time,” added Abdulkadir Hassan, another Somali trader.
By Galgalo Bocha