Seemingly a world away from the refugee camps on the other side of the city, Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohammed Ali gave an interview today from his posh office in the self-proclaimed government’s palace to denounce claims of a famine in the nation as a lie made up by international aid agencies.
“They don’t know what they’re talking about,” insisted Ali, who said that the aid agencies just say whatever they want to try to get funding. Ali also cited the book “The Lords of Poverty” as evidence that aid groups just make up humanitarian crises.
The self-proclaimed Somali government plays little role across Somalia, and indeed controls only a portion of the capital city with the help of a massive African Union invasion force. Forces loyal to Ali’s government have taken a hard line toward famine relief camps, even precipitating a food riot in August when troops attacked one of the camp and opened fire on refugees before seizing the food aid and leaving.
Though Ali claimed the aid agencies are self-serving in their efforts in Somalia, his comments could be seen as similarly so. The government gets virtually its entire budget from foreign aid, and in the wake of the famine much of that cash has gone to groups delivering food.