Somalia famine aid stolen, U.N. investigating

By Katharine Houreld

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Aug. 15 2011 10:23 p.m. MDT

At the Badbado camp, Ali Said Nur said he was also a victim of food thefts. He said he twice received two sacks of maize, but each time was forced to give one to the camp leader.

"You don't have a choice. You have to simply give without an argument to be able to stay here," he said.

Family crops, stock seized

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — As Somalia's drought and famine worsened in recent months, the al-Shabab militia in the south seized families' crops and stock and imposed taxes that made it almost impossible to survive, according to a report released Monday by Human Rights Watch.

It banned international humanitarian agencies as "infidels" and told the desperate population to depend on God instead. And it stopped many hungry people from fleeing the country for survival.

"I think they wanted the people to die," one refugee from the al Shabab-controlled Sakoh district told researchers with the rights group in an April interview in a Kenyan refugee camp after fleeing the country.

"The impact of al-Shabab's total prohibitions on food aid in areas under its control has been devastating for affected communities," the report. said

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