- Somalia’s Islamists insurgents, al Shabaab have ordered the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) to stop importing goods into the Horn of Africa state.
According to the statement issued by the group, the continuous importation of agricultural products in Somalia is damaging Somali’s weak agriculture production.
The millions of Horn of Africa nationals have gone hungry and are dependent on food aid due to combination drought, conflict and rising food prices.
"We have decided that WFP must stop deploying food into Somali territory and purchase food crops from Somali farmers, which will be distributed to the needy," al-Shabaab said in a statement.
The group said that external food aid had damaged the agricultural sector by discouraging Somalis from growing their own crops and warned all local contractors to stop working with the WFP.
"We warn all Somali business contractors who have relations with this agency to stop dealing with it by January 1 and the WFP to empty all its warehouses in Somalia by the same date," the statement read.
Drought and war has left more than 109,000 young children dependent on the feeding centres run by the WFP.
Somalia has not had an effective central government for 18 years, although Puntland has set up a semi-autonomous government and the northern region of Somaliland has declared its independence.
About 19,000 civilians have been killed in fighting since the start of 2007 while another 1.5 million have been forced out of their homes.
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