Al Shabab Funding: Aid Agencies Help Funded Al Shabab in 2011 in Somalia / Africa News

al shabab

A report by the Overseas Development Institute and the Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Policy Studies have revealed that aid agencies paid Somalia’s islamist Terrorist group, Al-Shabab for access to areas under their control in the 2011 famine.

The 2011 famine devastated Somalia with Al-Shabab controlling much of the territories of the country. The famine left more than 250,000 people dead.

The details of the report revealed how Al-Shabab demanded from the aid agencies what it described as registration fees of up to $10,000.

The report further said that those who refused to pay the fees were denied access and were totally banned from those areas completely.

Al-Shabab also insisted many times on distributing the aid and kept much of it for itself and some of the aid groups are still paying al-Shabab to operate in the large parts of Somalia it still holds.

The report gave one example of Al-Shabab diverting food aid in the town of Baidoa, where it is reported to have kept between half and two-thirds of food aid for its fighters in that town.

The disaster affected more than 13 million people across Somalia and triggered a major refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of Somalis fleeing the rural areas controlled by al-Shabab.

Al-Shabab is linked to al-Qaeda and the report said it developed a highly sophisticated system of monitoring aid agencies and even set up a Humanitarian Co-ordination Office in the areas it controlled.

Aid groups had to deal with this office, even though they risked legal problems by doing so because of counter-terrorism laws in other states which forbid engagement with groups linked with terrorists’ organizations.

The report says agencies who worked in al-Shabab-held areas had to complete special forms and sign a pledge saying they would refrain from certain social and religious activities.

It also describes how al-Shabab gave people extra food if they spied on the aid groups in their activities and operations.

Some agencies were banned outright by al-Shabab, including most UN agencies, while others withdrew because of the demands. But the report does not specify which agencies agreed to pay fees to al-Shabab.

Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda has carried out a lot of deadly attacks both in Somalia and Kenya of which the recent one being the Westgate mall attack which left many people dead. They say they are fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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