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Somalia's Islamist Rebels Ban ICRC

A Somalian woman holds a malnourished baby in Banadir hospital in Mogadishu.
Somalia's hard-line Islamist al-Shabaab rebels say they have ordered the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) out of areas the group controls in the south and central parts of the country.

The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab said on January 30 that they had decided to kick the ICRC out of areas under their control because it had "falsely" accused the Islamist group of hindering food distribution.

They also claimed that the ICRC was distributing food to the local population that was past its expiry date.

The United Nations says war-torn Somalia is experiencing the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with three areas hit by famine and nearly a quarter of a million people facing starvation.

The ICRC is one of the largest providers of emergency aid in Somalia and was one of very few international aid agencies still operating in rebel-controlled areas.

Compiled from agency reports

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