28 January 2009

Somalia: WFP Delegation Visits Islamist Rulers in Hiran Region

A delegation from the UN's World Food Program visited a provincial capital in central Somalia for the first time Wednesday since Islamists returned to power, Radio Garowe reports.

The four-member delegation was led by Ms. Denise Brown, the WFP deputy country director for Somalia.

The delegation held a private conference with traditional elders and Islamic Courts administrators in Beletwein, the capital of Hiran region.

Sources close to the discussions told Radio Garowe that the WFP officers expressed concern about targeted killings and the safety of aid workers, while noting that humanitarian efforts will continue in the region.

Islamist officials offered a brief description of the humanitarian situation in Hiran, while vowing to protect aid workers from harm.

The WFP delegation flew back to Nairobi, Kenya, after successfully completing meetings in Beletwein.

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