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Somali prime minister denies famine in capital

The world's aid agencies have become "lords of poverty" and their claim that famine has struck Somalia's capital is "absolutely" false, according to the country's prime minister.

Abdiweli Mohammed Ali, who leads Somalia's officially recognised government, chose the week the United Nations appealed for $1.5bn (€1.15bn) to help his country's people, to deliver a stinging attack on relief workers. Mr Ali, a Harvard-educated economist, believes they have become an "entrenched interest group", exaggerating the scale of suffering in order to get donations.

The UN says that 250,000 Somalis are suffering from famine in three regions, including Mogadishu. Patches of waste ground across the bullet-scarred city are filled with refugees' shacks, who have fled drought and food shortages, but Mr Ali said the UN's judgment that famine had struck was wrong. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent