Hunger in Somalia: Militants want aid groups back

Al-Shabab in 2009 began to ban aid agencies, fearing groups could promote un-Islamic way of life.

Last Updated: Jul 06, 2011, 15:45 PM IST

Mogadishu: Somalia`s most dangerous militant group says it may allow aid agencies back into the territories it controls considering the region`s crippling hunger and drought crisis.

A spokesman for al-Shabab, Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage, said late Tuesday that the group wants to open communication with aid agencies to negotiate their return. Rage said the aid groups` only objective can be to help the needy.

Al-Shabab in 2009 began to ban aid agencies, fearing the groups could host spies or promote an un-Islamic way of life.
But in recent weeks tens of thousands of Somalis have fled militant-controlled areas because of a lack of food. A severe drought is causing herds of animals to die, and aid agencies are warning of impending disaster.

Bureau Report