A Somali Islamist terror group on Sunday announced it will stop UN agency, World Food Programme (WFP) operations in Somalia. In a statement, Al Shabaab, an al Qaeda proxy said, “Effective as of today, all of WFP’s operations inside Somalia are terminated and the organization has been completely banned.” The group argued that it had received complaints from Somali farmers that the quantity of the WFP food aid prevented them from selling their own products at a fair price. WFP stopped working in southern Somalia early this year, announcing it had suspended distribution of food aid after months of attacks and extortion by rebels.
It also warned that anybody found working with WFP will be branded a sympathizer. The statement read, “All Somali persons, businessmen and truck drivers who are currently contracted to or working with WFP are hereby instructed to terminate their contracts immediately.” According to WFP spokesman Peter Smerdon, in an interview with Reuters, WFP is determined to help the people of Somalia in need of assistance, regardless of who controls the areas in which they live, as long as it is safe for our staff to do so.
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