The Somali group, al-Shabab, says it has lifted a ban on aid agencies operating in the parts of the country it controls. Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, an al-Shabab spokesperson said, "We have now decided to welcome all Muslim and non-Muslim aid agencies to assist the drought-stricken Somalis in our areas..." In some areas, one out of every three children is malnourished, in one of the region's worst droughts in 60 years. The UN says close to three million people in Somalia need emergency aid. Al-Shabab, which is said to be connected to al-Qaida networks in Africa and the Gulf, controls the majority of Somalia, including almost half of the capital, Mogadishu. In the past, they have said food aid creates dependency, but they have also used aid for themselves and charged foreign organisations high fees to operate. Al Jazeera's Mariana Sanchez reports.
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