The thousands of children starving to death each week beg to differ.
(RNW) — For Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked rebels, the drought devastating parts of the country is being exploited by external enemies, claiming that local Muslims were adequately addressing the crisis.
The Al-Shebab insurgents have expelled several foreign aid groups from regions under their control since 2009 and reiterated recently that the ban was still in force after the United Nations declared famine in two regions they rule.
Shebab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage denied there was famine in the southern Somalia regions of Bakool and Lower Shabelle as declared by the UN, but admitted that there was drought.
In a speech to the rebel radio, Rage said local traders and other residents have been the main providers of help to the drought-hit population and that “God did not make them need an outside enemy or non-Muslims, the people in the country fed them very well.”
“We need Muslim people to be aware that the external enemy especially non-Muslims have been thinking of a new strategy.
“The new strategy is to transport them abroad, especially in Christian countries like Ethiopia and Kenya, so that their faith can be destroyed and that they could be staff and soldiers for the Christians,” Rage charged.
Thousands of Somalis have fled to neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya to seek relief from the harsh drought that has affected some 12 million people across the Horn of Africa region.