“The list of groups banned outright included the United Nations children’s agency, Unicef, and other UN bodies, the British charity Concern and groups from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Sweden.”
Surely the Saudis and other wealthy Islamic states will be there any minute to fill that gap and help their brethren with their vast oil wealth.
(Sound of crickets)
“Somalia’s al-Shabab militants close UN aid offices,” from BBC News, November 28:
Al-Shabab fighters have closed down several aid agencies working in famine-hit Somalia, including some from the UN, accusing them of political bias.
Militants stormed aid offices in the towns of Baidoa and Beledweyne, which like many southern areas are controlled by al-Shabab, witnesses say.
By controlling the flow of aid, al-Shabaab controls who lives and who dies.
Al-Shabab has long restricted the work of international aid groups but on Monday banned 16 groups outright.
Years of conflict mean Somalia is worst hit by the East African drought.
The lack of rain is said to be the worst in 60 years.
The list of groups banned outright included the United Nations children’s agency, Unicef, and other UN bodies, the British charity Concern and groups from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Sweden.
Unicef spokesman Jaya Murthy told the BBC a group of men, suspected to belong to al-Shabab, occupied their offices in Baidoa and ordered staff to leave.
“They just said they [Unicef staff] should go home immediately and our office is now their office,” Mr Murthy told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme.
The al-Shabab statement accused the groups of exaggerating the scale of the problems in Somalia for political reasons and to raise money.
‘Risk of death’
It also alleges that the agencies are working with church groups trying to convert vulnerable Muslim children and opposing al-Shabab’s attempts to impose Sharia law….