Relief SCENE:Security
TFG Officially Bans Travel of Foreign Workers
Aid Workers Not Allowed to Travel to Al-Shabaab Areas for Security Reasons
By AWEYS CADDE 09/16/2011
Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) administration of Banadir region officially banned foreigner aid workers from traveling to areas controlled by the al-Shabaab insurgent group due to concerns over their safety.

After reports of Turkish aid workers being denied access to travel yesterday, Somalia Report sent a correspondent to discuss the ban with a TFG official.

The deputy chairman of Banadir region for security, Afiars Abdikafi Hilowle, confirmed the ban to Somalia Report and cited security as the reason behind the order.

“The foreigners who come to Somalia to help our people will not be allowed to travel to areas controlled by the extremist group since it’s not safe. We don't want to risk their lives,” he explained.

“There are local agencies operating in al-Shabaab territories who have misinformed the foreigners that those areas are safe. We are sure that their safety is not guaranteed because the insurgents don't always follow orders and can kill the foreigners which would bring shame on the Somali government and the Somali community,” Abdikafi added.

The deputy chairman stated that they are monitoring every foreigner arriving in Mogadishu's airport and ordered their troops not to allow anyone to cross the checkpoint into al-Shabaab territory.

“There is also the possibility that some terrorists are disguising themselves as aid workers to fulfill their selfish motives so we created a special security force to take care of the foreigners,” he said.

Recently, TFG security forces in Ex-control Afgoye junction obstructed aid workers who wanted to cross to al-Shabaab areas and arrested Turkish aid workers who visited Lower Shaabelle region to distribute relief aid to drought-affected people in that region.