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Kenya lifts China fish ban to boost supply

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By GERALD ANDAE
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The Department of Fisheries has lifted a ban on fish imports following a biting shortage after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive against Chinese catch that had flooded the market.

The ban was lifted in January, barely three months after the restrictions took effect in November.

Mr Kenyatta, in ordering the ban, had said it was inappropriate to bring in the fish when local sources could well satisfy the demand.

“We were forced to lift the ban to ease the shortage after a huge consignment of fish got stuck at the port, impacting negatively on local supplies,” said an official at the Fisheries Department who is not allowed to speak on the matter.

Kenya imports approximately 1.8 million kilogramme of fish every month. It produces about 135,000 tonnes annual against an annual demand of 500,000 tonnes. Fish imports from China hit Sh1.7 billion last year as Kenya’s appetite for Chinese fish continued to grow with the country seeking to bridge a deficit.

Most factories that import fish cite unreliable supply from the local market, which affects their customers.

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Farmers Choice, one of the local processors, said it currently imports frozen tilapia fillets, normally boneless and skinless, owing to the limited supply locally.

“Most locally farmed or wild caught tilapia is sold into the market as whole fish. All our product is sourced from reputable suppliers, and is inspected both pre-shipment and on arrival as required by the Kenya Bureau of Standards, and all licences and standards are complied with,” said the firm.



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Kenya: Senior Al-Shabab Leader, Wife Behind Kenya’s Manda Bay Attack Killed – U.S.

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The U.S. military says a senior al-Shabab leader behind the deadly Jan. 5 attack on the Manda Bay base in Kenya, was killed Feb. 22 in precision airstrikes, along with his wife.

In a statement, the military says the targeted individuals were identified as members of al-Shabab. The statement did not name the senior al-Shabab leader killed in the strike, but it says he was in charge of planning and directing terrorist operations along the Kenya border region, including the Manda Bay attack.

The statement says the senior leader’s wife also was a “witting and active member of al-Shabab responsible for facilitating a wide range of terrorist activities.”

The only strike reported by the U.S. military Feb. 22 occurred in the vicinity of Saakow, an al-Shabab stronghold in the Middle Juba region. The United States reported that two al-Shabab individuals were killed in that strike.

Three Americans, including a soldier and two contractors, were killed in the Jan. 5 attack when the Manda Bay base was breached by the militants, who also destroyed six aircraft.

“Since Jan. 5, U.S. Africa Command and our partners have pursued those responsible for the attack on U.S. and Kenyan forces at Manda Bay,” said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command. “This strike demonstrates that we will continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible for Manda Bay and those wishing to do harm to Americans and our African partners.”

During a hearing last month in the U.S. Congress, General Townsend acknowledged the U.S. military was not well prepared for the attack.

“We were not as prepared there at Manda Bay as we needed to be,” he said. “Al-Shabab managed to penetrate on to that airfield … killed three Americans and destroyed six aircraft, so we weren’t as prepared, and we are digging into that to find out why that is the case.”

Meanwhile, Somalia’s largest telecommunications company, Hormuud, says one of its employees was killed in Monday’s airstrike near the al-Shabab-held town of Jilib, Middle Juba region.

A spokesperson for Hormuud said the head of the company’s office in Jilib, Mohamud Haji Salad, was killed at his home there. Hormuud says Salad was a civilian who has been working for the company since 2002.

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“We confirm that this man was our employee,” says the spokesperson. “He had nothing to do with any group or organization.”