Somalia’s Shabaab rebel banned aid of the Islamic agency on Monday which was one of the very few groups who were able to work in the war-ravaged region controlled by the al-Qaeda allied fighters
The Shabaab said the Islamic Relief group was being banned because it has repeatedly failed, despite the persistent warnings, to meet the terms with the operational guidelines established by the rebel. Some 1.3 million people in need of food, clean water and health care may be put at risk in the area. Regional director for east Africa, Iftikhar Shaheen, said in a statement that none of their programmes in Somalia is supported by the World Food Programme thus if this decision is confirmed, it could put many lives at risk, jeopardizing works in providing food, water, sanitation, health care and support for income generation to the 1.3 million people in Somalia.
The British-based aid agency has worked in Somalia since 1996, with projects aimed on improving access to water, healthcare and education for pastoral communities and people who have run off their homes due to conflict, floods or drought.
According to messages posted on Twitter account, authenticated by Shabaab officials they have officially revoked Islamic Relief’s permit to work in the areas it controls.
Last year, the Shabaab ordered close up of the United Nations agencies including the World Food Programme as well as other international aid agencies. They feather explain that Islamic Relief was also found to be secretly extending the operations of banned organizations, particularly WFP. Last year about 12 million people in dire need of relief aid in Somalia were strike by a harsh drought and several areas in the country declared with famine zones.
For the past decades years Somalia has been, devastate by an almost continuous civil war. The area is one of the most dangerous places in the world for aid workers and one of the regions that needs a good number of them. In recent months, the uncompromising gunmen have lost control of a string of towns to African Union troops and Somali government soldiers. The rebels are still in control of some large parts of rural southern and central Somalia.