"Somali Insurgents Seek Help for Drought Victims"

"Somalia's Al Qaeda-linked rebels, who banned foreign aid groups in regions under their control two years ago, have appealed for help for thousands of people devastated by a severe drought.

The Shebab on Tuesday called for help, saying they would allow aid through to the drought-affected regions as thousands flee the country to seek help from neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia.

Food shortages and violence forced 54,000 Somalis to flee the country in June alone, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

"The movement has now formed a new committee to respond to the drought to help those affected," Shebab spokesman Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage told reporters."

AFP had the story July 6, 2011.

Source: AFP, 07/07/2011