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The Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab Militia Announced Yesterday That it has “Banned” World Food Programme Operations in Famine-Plagued Somalia

 Mogadhisho The hardline Islamist Shebab militia announced Sunday it had “banned” WFP  operations
in famine-plagued Somalia, where the UN says half the population needs aid the Al-Qaeda-linked
Shebab movement, which Controls Most of central and southern Somalia, charged that food distributed by
The UN Agency had disadvantaged Local farmers and accused it of political motivations.
Given the problems Caused by The food WFP distributed,the movement of Shebab Al-Mujahideen
Banned the operations of the agency in Somalia Generally Starting from today,”  the group said
in a statement. the contractors working with WFP must avoid Collaborating with the agency otherwise
Anyone working with the agency will be seen Serving the interest of WFP,” it added. the Shebab said they had received complaint from Somali farmers that the quantity of the WFP food Aid Prevented them
from selling their own products at a fair price.the group also charged that the food was past its expiry date, And had caused people to fall ill, and
Alleged that it was  disguised support for the formation of pro-government forces in Somalia. A senior member of the rebel outfit confirmed the ban to AFP 
We have already given WFP chances to operate in Somalia but after failing to comply with the conditions we put forward, we totally banned WFP operations in Somalia,”
He said on condition of anonymity.In November the Shebab imposed 11 conditions on UN agencies and nongovernment groups working in the country, including
that they do not interfere in Islam and pay a tax of at least 20,000 dollars every six months.the World Food Programme stopped working in Southern Somalia in January,
announcing it had suspended distribution of food aid after months of attacks and extortion by the Al-Qaeda-linked rebels.”Rising threats and attacks
on humanitarian operations,as well as the imposition of a string of unacceptable demands from armed groups, have made it virtually impossible for the WFP
To continue reaching up to one million people in need in southern Somalia,” it said at the time. the United Nations said the agency hoped to restart work in
the area in March or April, adding the suspension was over the post-harvest period when enough food was available.the WFP also said it would continue
To send food aid to 1.8 million Somalians in other parts of the country. This included the capital Mogadishu, which is also mostly under Shebab control.
the agency has insisted that its role in Somalia is “impartial and non political”. On its website, it describes Somalia as “one of the most dangerous places in the world” and with the highest humanitarian need for
the size of its population. “By August 2009, the country was facing its worst humanitarian crisis since the famine of 1991/1992, with half the population —
3.64 million people — now in need of outside assistance,” it says. Mired in almost uninterrupted civil conflict since the 1991 ouster of president Mohamed Siad
Barre and plagued by recurring natural disasters, Somalia is often described as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. the Shebab, whose leadership
has proclaimed allegiance to Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network, has been fighting the government and its African Union allies alongside Hezb al-Islam,
a smaller and more political outfit. The UN estimates it will need 689 million dollars (490.5 million euros) to provide aid in 2010 to the Somali population, of which 43 percent live on less than a dollar a day.

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