Rushanara Ali MP says Al-Shabaab must allow aid organisations into Somalia

Following news today that Al-Shabaab have banned aid organisations from Somalia, Rushanara Ali MP, Shadow International Development Minister and Vice-Chair of Somali Friends of Labour, said “reports today of rebels seizing and looting the offices of some UN and international aid agencies working in Somalia to alleviate the consequences of a severe drought, are incredibly concerning and open up the possibility of the crisis in Somalia turning into a full-blown disaster.  With 4 million people in desperate need of help in Somalia and a quarter of a million people in imminent danger of starvation, too many of them children, Al-Shabaab must allow aid organisations to deliver desperately needed aid and guarantee the safety of their staff and offices.  The people of Somalia have already had to suffer through a civil war, the drought and famine - what they need now is for the international community to provide them with the support they need and to work hard to find a solution to the ongoing conflict.”

What Al-Shabaab is doing now will not only have a devastating impact on the humanitarian situation in Somalia but will simply inflame an already intractable conflict.  The international community must take firm action to help resolve the conflict in Somalia, we cannot simply stand by and be witness to the actions of a group like Al-Shabaab which will cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.”