Islamist al-Shabaab militants say UN food programme is killing Somalia's peasant farmers
Militant Islamist group al-Shabaab says the UN World Food Programme must immediately stop importing relief rations to Somalia, saying it was destroying local agriculture. The rebels control most of the south of the drought-ravaged country, where fighting has worsened an acute food crisis. But al-Shabaab says rather than handing out rations, the UN should buy food from Somali farmers, which will then be distributed to the needy. Some 3.76 million people - or half the Somali population - now need food aid. The militants are fighting to impose strict sharia law on Somalis, and frequently attack African Union peacekeepers who protect the country's moderate Islamic government in the capital, Mogadishu. The US is fighting a low-key dirty war against the group, accusing it of being an ally of al-Qaeda and of harbouring militants responsible for the bloody bombings of its Kenyan and Tanzanian embassies in 1998.
Read more: Reuters, UPI, AFP