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Somali officials welcomed a delegation from Turkey as a Turkish ship carrying 250 tons of food aid for drought affected Somalis arrived in Mogadishu’s sea port and Turkish relief officials met with al-Shabaab in Lower Shabelle.
The head of the Turkish Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH), Sardash Jam, his deputy, Mr. Murad, and the head of the Turkish Airways, Dr. Jampl Kutiki, along with 210 other Turkish delegates arrived at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport.
“We have decided to help our brothers and sisters who have been crippled by prolonged drought and war in the recent years. We know that many internally displaced families were coming here to Mogadishu from the neighboring regions of Bay, Bakol and Lower Shabelle where famine has been reported,” said IHH Chairman Sardash Jam.
Somalia’s Prime Minister Dr. Abdiwali Mohamed Ali welcomed the Turkish delegates at the airport and then traveled with some of them to witness the arrival of supplies, including food aid, medical equipment, tents, blankets at the sea port.
“On behalf of Somali government, I would like to thank the Turkish government leaders, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has already visited Mogadishu while accompanied by a large delegation from his country,” said the prime minister at the sea port.
He added that the Somalis are grateful to their 'unforgettable Turkish brothers and sister' for their committed support.
Dr. Jampl Kutiki promised that Turkish planes, like Turkish Airways, will continue to travel into Mogadishu.
Turkish officials reach al-Shabaab areas.
Meanwhile reliable information obtained by Somalia Report confirmed late on Monday that the IHH Deputy Chairman, Mr. Murad, along with 2 other Turkish officials have reached al-Shabaab controlled N50 IDPs camp Aala-Yasir in the Lower Shabelle region.
Source confirmed that the Turks met with al-Shabaab official, Sheekh Hassan Abu- Ayman, who is responsible for the Bay and Bakol regions.
The Turkish members moved from government controlled areas of Mogadishu through Sarkuusta Checkpoint near the Ex-control Checkpoint in the southwest area of the capital. Somali government troops reportedly escorted the Turkish delegates until they reached Sarkuusta.
From there the Turkish delegates managed to travel into the rebel held areas. According to the same source, the Turkish aid workers were escorted by a large, armed convoy believed to be carrying some al-Shabaab fighters.
The IHH members are reportedly in the al-Shabaab camps to observe, but sources told Somalia Report that the members addressed hundreds of IDPs at the Aala-Yasir camp.
"Three Muslim Turkish brothers visited our controlled territories in Lower Shabelle region to help the internally displaced people at the Aala-Yasir Camp,” said senior al-Shabaab official Sheikh Hassan Abu Ayman. “They brought us aid and pledged more and we will be grateful for their assistance."
Turkish aid workers who visited Aala-Yasir camp said a local NGO called Zam-zam, which often operates in the districts controlled by the Islamist militia, has also been collaborating with IHH.