It's not hard to put two and two together. However, using aid groups to implode an emerging independent economy is only one stage of several required to gain control of a territory...
Al-shabab rebels have been resisting the western-backed Somalian Government for a long time. The rebels are a pretty mean bunch, and in no way do I mean to condone all their efforts or philosophies. Nonetheless, guerilla warfare is what it is.
It is highly note-worthy that these rebels make a serious point of keeping aid groups out of their controlled regions.
Now why would you willingly block supplies to your people, especially in a time of famine, and risk losing their support? Could it be because the rebels can see exactly what these groups are doing to their economy?
Also noteworthy is the statement that came from Al-shebab spokesperson, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, that there is no famine. He claims there is currently a drought and - 'those earlier banned [aid] groups are [still] not welcome to serve in our area of control.' (Though they are welcoming assistance to overcome the drought.)
What I want to point out here is how the media has been manipulated to demonise the rebels in order to provoke increased public and political support for action from the UN and, more significantly, from Washington in order to suppress rebel control - NOT to help starving children.
Washington, as a relatively recent rule, tend not to do much unless there's some abstract irrational Islamic group threatening women's rights or trying to impose Sharia law.
Convenient then, that at the same time famine was declared, it was reported by the AP that Islamist rebels seized Somalia's newly appointed women's minister, Asha Osman Aqiil, as she took office. This happened the day after she was named the country's Minister for Women and Family Affairs.
Mowlid Maane, a Somali MP, told reporters, “They (Al-shabab rebels) let her go because she told them that she was not aware of the appointment and that she did not want to take the post.”
Maane was also surprised that Aqiil was named minister while she was still in Alshabab controlled area where Islamist rebels have been in control for the past three years. Why would the Somalian Government suddenly name her Minister for Women and Family Affairs while she was at home, deep in the heart of extremist territory?
Simply put, the Western-controlled Somalian government hung the poor girl out to dry to show the world how bad the rebels are. They expected the rebels to kidnap and execute her. They did this in order to garner support for an increased western military presence to suppress the native rebels.
Fortunately for Ms. Asha, it seems the plan didn't work.
Unfortunely for Somalia, so called "famine" is the least of their worries.