05 October 2011

Somali aid push in famine zones

Somali aid push in famine zones: The International Red Cross begins a huge distribution of aid to a million people in Somalia famine zones controlled by the Islamist militants.

The International Red Cross has begun a huge distribution of aid to one million people in famine zones in Somalia controlled by Islamist militants.

A continuous operation will transport the food in lorries from the coast deep into areas controlled by al-Shabab.

The Red Cross says it is its biggest such operation anywhere in the world.

It followed difficult negotiations with al-Shabab, which banned many Western aid agencies from its territory two years ago.

The UN has declared a famine in six regions of Somalia - mostly in al-Shabab areas.

Tens of thousands of people have fled to seek food aid in the capital, Mogadishu, which is ruled by the weak interim government, or in camps in neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia.

Last month, al-Shabab began moving people out of displacement camps, run by local charities in Islamist areas, and returning them to their villages.

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