Row over aid to fleeing Somalis

April 25, 2007 7:27am CST
Somalia's interim government is suspected of preventing humanitarian aid from urgently reaching people who have fled fighting in the capital. Western diplomats say demands to inspect all aid shipments was adding to the misery, AP news agency reports. Earlier, the UN humanitarian chief said insecurity, checkpoint harassment and new administrative directives have all obstructed humanitarian efforts. An estimated 320,000 people have left Mogadishu since February, the UN says. There have been seven straight days of clashes between Ethiopian troops backing the interim government and insurgents and fighters from the city's dominant Hawiye clan. Ethiopia's prime minister says he hopes to have routed the insurgents within a fortnight.
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