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Somalia’s Government Bans Several International Aid Agencies

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Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Somalia’s government banned several international aid agencies, including the United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, after they didn’t attend a scheduled meeting.

The ministry of water, minerals and energy had called the meeting for 10 a.m. yesterday, Abdirahman Yusuf Farah, deputy minister, told reporters in the capital, Mogadishu, today.

“These agencies failed to came to the meeting, so the ministry decided to officially ban them from working in Somalia,” Farah said. He didn’t say how long the ban would last.

The other agencies to be banned were Daryeel Bulsho Guud DBG and the Norwegian Refugee Council. Many of Somalia’s poor have depended on aid for years in a country that hasn’t had a functioning central administration since the ouster of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

No one answered the phone at the Unicef Somalia Support Center in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, when Bloomberg called seeking comment today.

“Officially we didn’t receive a statement from the transitional federal government,” Yves Van Loo, a spokesman for the ICRC delegation for Somalia, said in a phone interview from Nairobi.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hamsa Omar in Mogadishu via Johannesburg at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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