Somalia: Food aid reaches besieged town in Hiiraan region

Published: March 21, 2015

Somalia: Food aid reaches besieged townA convoy bringing desperately needed food aid reached the besieged central town of Bulo-burte on Saturday, accompanied by Somali and African Union forces, officials confirm.
Trucks carrying the food assistance were escorted from Beletweyn district by the allied forces, and took them at least two days to reach the besieged town.
Bulo-burte, which is some 200 km north of the capital Mogadishu, has been under siege for more than six months after al-Shabaab militants who were pushed out from the town last year blocked the roads leading into the towns and refusing transportation of goods.
It is the first time aid has been delivered to the town by ground since the militants blockaded.
Al Shabaab militants attacked the convoy while on its way, sources claim. Number of casualties is yet to be confirmed.
According to local officials, the food aid will be distributed to the residents in the coming days.
Earlier this month, local elders appealed for relief assistance, adding the town is in a desperate humanitarian situation.
Authorities on ground have failed to address the situation though calling for International aid organisations to intervene. But there has been little attention from the humanitarian agencies.
In January, the mayor of the town was arrested alongside with several businessmen who were accused of diverting humanitarian aid.

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