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Somali traders suffer losses in Minneapolis as protests hold

Saturday May 30, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS (HOL) - Somali traders in the strife torn city of Minneapolis in the US are counting losses as a result of the ongoing protests following the killing of unarmed black man by the police.

Traders who spoke to HOL said businesses had suffered immensely as the protests continue into the fourth day worsening an already poor business performance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At least 60% of Somali business are located near Lake Street where the violence started,” Abdirahman Issa Kaahin, a trader told HOL. “They (traders) have suffered huge losses as most of them including restaurants, remittance companies and clothes shops have been closed.”

Kaahin said prior to the violence, the COVID-19 pandemic had already adversely affected business in the area ‘with a marked decline in trade in the last two months.’

A number of restaurants including Mama Safia’s Kitchen are among the Somali owned businesses affected by the protests. Others include Jigjiga Mall which have also suffered closures.

Abdirahman Issa Kaahin, a trader in Minneapolis

Protests broke out Wednesday in Minneapolis after a video appeared online showing a police office kneeling on a black man. The man identified as George Floyd later died.

Protesters burned down a police station in the town as Americans in other parts of the country including the capital Washington took to the streets.

Somalis in St. Paul, Rochester and St. Cloud have also expressed fears of further protests spreading into their areas.

The local government imposed an 8pm-6am curfew but people have been pouring into the streets in violation of the order. The policeman who was captured on video has since been arrested and is now facing murder charges.


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