Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Somalia's Shebab rebels Tuesday banned the aid group Save the
Children from operating in regions under their control, levelling a
string of accusations against the organisation.
Office for Supervising the Affairs of Foreign Agencies said in a
statement that it "revokes the permission of the organisation known as
Save the Children to operate in any of the regions under the
administration of the mujahideen."
It accused Save the Children of
distributing expired porridge to children, as well as corruption and
failing to comply with the rules laid down by the Al Qaeda-linked group.
Shebab "strives to protect the welfare of the entire Muslim population
of Somalia and will implement all necessary safety measures to dissuade
competing organisations from degrading their quality of life," added the
Save the Children projects in Somalia have included
running health centres and treating malnourished children, digging
wells, providing sanitation and upgrading and equipping schools.
January, the extremist militia banned the International Committee of
the Red Cross and ordered it to close its operations in the
Hardline Shebab gunmen control large
parts of southern and central Somalia. The war-torn nation was the worst
hit in the Horn of Africa by a recent harsh drought that left some 12
million people in dire need of relief aid.
Somalia, ravaged by
nearly uninterrupted civil war for the past two decades, is one of the
most dangerous places in the world for aid workers and one of the
regions that needs them most.
In November, the Shebab also ordered
shut 16 UN and other international aid agencies after raiding several
of their offices. It has banned organisations it said "engaged in
activities deemed detrimental to the attainment of an Islamic state."
Save the Children's regional headquarters in Nairobi was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.