What is the relationship between the WFP and al-Shabaab?

Relations have been difficult. In January 2010, the WFP suspended operations in the south citing “unprecedented and inhumane attacks” and threats and demands by al-Shabaab. Besides insecurity problems, the group had demanded that the UN agency remove all women from their jobs and pay $20,000 every six months for “security” in some of the regions it controlled. When the WFP refused, it was given a deadline of 1 January to cease operations. The WFP has lost 14 staff over the past two years in Somalia and UN vehicles have been used by al-Shabaab in suicide bombings. Until its final break with al-Shabaab, the militia had allowed the WFP to work in areas it controlled, and the rebels’ structure and organisation even helped delivery in some areas. But al-Shabaab began claiming that food aid was undercutting local farm production and accusing the WFP of having a political agenda. 

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