Somalia wants humanitarian force to guard food convoys

By REUTERS
August 13, 2011 18:14

MOGADISHU - Somalia on Saturday called for the creation of a special humanitarian force to protect food aid convoys and feeding camps in the famine-hit Horn of Africa country and secure the capital.

Somalia's capital Mogadishu is still dangerous to visit even after Islamist rebels mostly pulled out last weekend, raising the specter of more guerrilla-style attacks such as suicide bombings after their military defeat.

The government and an African peacekeeping force admit they do not control all of the capital even after the rebels' withdrawal, placing thousands of Somali refugees who are streaming into Mogadishu searching for food in danger.

The al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabaab insurgents began pulling their fighters out of Mogadishu over the weekend, raising hopes humanitarian groups would be able to step up aid deliveries after years of blockages by the militant group.


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