Red Cross taking food to militant territory
Children receive food at a WFP-feeding centre in Somalia's capital Mogadishu in September.
October 5th, 2011
10:16 AM ET

Red Cross taking food to militant territory

More than a million hungry Somalis living in southern and central areas hit hard by war and drought will start seeing much needed food distributed by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the agency said Wednesday.

The first round of distributions of beans, oil and rice is expected to reach 72,000 people in the pastoral Gedo region.

The Red Cross is also hoping to deliver seed and fertilizer to 240,000 farmers ahead of the planting season and ready to harvest by the start of 2012.

"The people are waiting for the rain to come in one or two weeks," said Yves van Loo, the Geneva-based agency's spokesman in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The distributions will take place deep in territory controlled by Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group with ties to al Qaeda that has waged war in order to establish a stricter form of Sharia, or Islamic law. The United States designates Al-Shabaab as foreign terrorist organization.

Van Loo said the aid is going out after negotiations with the militants.

"Not everybody can talk to them," he said. "Our neutrality has been respected."

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Filed under: Somalia • World
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. raven

    Doubt their neutrality was respected. More like they had dollar signs in their eyes. Im sure none of that aid will get jacked. And its gonna rain lollipops and chocolate in my love garden .

    October 5, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bathory

    Lmao@raven!! Love garden!! Dig it!!

    October 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. George Patton

    This is indeed good news especially that this should undercut the right-wing propaganda about Al Shabaab being all evil and deprive the right-wing thugs in Washington a lame excuse to intervene in Somalia militarily.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. layminister herman

    Well ya know the father see us all as one race thats human, And its the affluants responsibility to help those that are not as gifted.Please remember If
    not for we have the lord to thank for all the blessings we have.And the lord loves a charitable giver

    October 6, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bill

    We've been sending "aid" in all varieties to sub-saharan Africa since anyone can remember (50 yrs. min) and yet it never changes. Without some sort of seriously supervised distribution program using their own people there's no point in feeding and enriching the hoodlums who are running the place. No law or order, no infrastructure; we're sadly wasting our time. Need agricultural seed, water wells, and population control info ....never mind hanging out at the missions singing Jesus Loves Me! Above all...NO US boots on the ground, EVER!

    October 6, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |