According to the Monitoring Group, some UN agencies working in Somalia suspect that several local organizations which they have funded and through which they have distributed aid, were giving money to al Shabaab, payments that the Islamist group called “taxes” .
The report details several cases where members of al Shabaab have asked for bribes to the UN and aid agencies in exchange for allowing them to work in rebel areas and in some cases, burning food and medicine when they didn’t get the required money.
Al Shabaab promised this July to lift the prohibition on distributing food aid, imposed in 2010, but then said that it will maintain restrictions on the World Food Programme (WFP) the UN and key NGOs.
The report of the observation that Al Shabaab commander gave a speech in late 2010 in which he warned that the Somalis do not accept foreign aid. “You can eat whatever you want except the food received as aid,” he said.
The WFP has said that can not access more than 2 million Somalis at risk of starvation in areas controlled by the Islamist militia. Although try to reach these areas over the next week, said that if this fails will be raised as a last resort, throw the food out of airplanes.
…According to the report, commanders of the insurgent group asked humanitarian organizations for an initial payment of $ 10,000 to allow them access to their controlled territory and then make them pay another $ 10,000 to register themselves (as “NGOs”) and another $ 6,000 every six months.
The rebels are also demanding the payment of 20 percent of the value of all foods and medicines that pass through their areas and impose a 10 percent tax on all vehicles.
- Horn of Africa: 400,000 crammed into refugee camp fleeing worst regional drought in decades (teaandpolitics.wordpress.com)
- Horn of Africa: UNHCR calls for aid to Somalia in worst food crisis(teaandpolitics.wordpress.com)
- Somali group bans samosas (teaandpolitics.wordpress.com)