Yemen imposes weekday ban on khat sale

Officials restrict sale of the mild narcotic due to "security, social and health" concerns.

    Chewing wads of the evergreen herb has a stimulant effect [Matjaz Krivic/Getty Images]
    Chewing wads of the evergreen herb has a stimulant effect [Matjaz Krivic/Getty Images]

    Authorities in south Yemen have banned the sale of the mild narcotic khat on weekdays, confirming that it will be only allowed into the city of Aden and its suburbs at weekends.

    Checkpoints were set up on Monday around Aden to stop khat shipments from entering the port city. Patrols roamed markets to enforce the ban on its sales. It will only be permitted on weekends.

    The statement said that the ban was prompted by complaints from citizens and due to "security, social and health" concerns, adding that khat markets also caused traffic jams.   

    Although khat is part of the social fabric of Yemen, chewing wads of the evergreen herb has a stimulant effect similar to drinking numerous cups of strong coffee.

    This restriction on khat consumption was applied in the formerly independent south Yemen before it united with the north in the 1990s. 

    A local merchant told the Associated Press that some of his stock had been burned but he did manage to smuggle some into Aden.

    Aden has served as the temporary capital of Yemen since forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi recaptured it and four other southern provinces from Shia fighters in the summer.

    Southern militias that fought alongside Hadi's loyalists have been mostly assimilated in security forces.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.