[QODLink]
Africa
Al-Shabab bans Islamic Relief aid group
UK-based aid organisation, one of the few allowed to operate in al-Shabab controlled territory, "breached guidelines".
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2012 12:02
Last year the group ordered shut several UN agencies including the World Food Programme [Al Jazeera]

Al-Shabab has banned Islamic Relief, one of the few remaining aid agencies able to operate in the region of Somalia controlled by the armed group.

The fighters said on Monday that they had "officially revoked Islamic Relief's permit to work" in the areas they control, according to messages posted on the group's Twitter account, which were authenticated by al-Shabab officials.

Al-Shabab said the Islamic Relief group was being banned because it "has repeatedly failed, despite the persistent warnings, to comply with the operational guidelines" established by the group.

"Islamic Relief was also found to be covertly extending the operations of banned organisations, particularly WFP," it said.

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, despite being one of the regions that needs them the most.

While the fighters have lost control of a string of towns in recent months to African Union troops and Somali government soldiers, they still control large parts of rural southern and central Somalia.

Last year al-Shabab ordered shut several UN agencies including the World Food Programme (WFP) as well as other international aid agencies.

Islamic Relief, a British-based aid agency, has worked in Somalia since 1996.

The group's projects focus on "improving access to water, healthcare and education for pastoral communities and people who have fled their homes due to conflict, floods or drought," according to its website.

Somalia was the Horn of Africa country worst hit by a harsh drought last year that left about 12 million people in dire need of relief aid, with several areas in the country declared famine zones.

Islamic Relief was not immediately available for comment on Monday.

271

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.