Relief SCENE:NGOs
Ahlu Sunnah Blasts ICRC
Accuses NGO of Supporting Al-Shabaab
By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE 11/09/2011
Pro-government Islamist group Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaa (ASWJ) has criticized the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), accusing the aid agency of supporting militant Islamist group al-Shabaab.

The ICRC is renowned for operating in war zones and maintaining its strict neutrality, treating fighters of all sides. However, ASWJ appears to be upset by this ethos, which applies to several al-Shabaab-controlled areas of Somalia.

"The ICRC provides financial support to al-Shabaab, if they continue their support to al-Shabaab, we will not differentiate between al-Shabaab and the ICRC and we will fight both of them,” ASWJ’s head of social affairs, Abdiweli Hajji Dirie, told Somalia Report.

ASWJ also did not produce any evidence to back up its highly dubious claim the ICRC was providing financial support to al-Shabaab. However, the threat of violence against an international NGO will be unlikely to ease fears amongst an aid community already facing an increase in the threat of kidnapping.

Calls to the ICRC’s offices in Galgagud and the regional spokesperson in the Kenyan capital Nairobi went unanswered.