Iran has forced a foreign policy dilemma on the Obama administration by choosing as its next United Nations ambassador an official who belonged to the group that held 52 Americans hostage in Tehran for 444 days.
The United Nations declared a famine in two regions of southern Somalia amid drought and conflict that have left 3.7 million people, almost half the country’s population, in need of humanitarian assistance.
Persistent violence in Somalia is discouraging Western governments from funding aid to 3.2 million people in need even as the Islamic rebels who control much of the country are allowing relief work to continue, a senior United Nations official said.
Somali and African Union troops advanced to the north of the capital, Mogadishu, to seize further ground from al-Qaeda-linked rebels in fighting that killed a senior commander of al-Shabaab, the peacekeeping mission said.
Somalia’s main Islamist insurgent group, the Western-backed government and African Union forces that support it violate the laws of war by shelling residential areas in the capital, Mogadishu, Human Rights Watch said.