In Mogadishu, the rumor is that ARPCT (the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism) is a creation of American special forces, to counteract the growth of the Islamic Courts (which are seen as pro al Qaeda.) In fact, ARPCT pretends to have some connection with the Americans, as that gives them more stature, and the hope that maybe they will get some American aid. Everyone wants some aid. The Islamic Courts have received some money from Islamic charities in the Persian Gulf. But the Islamic Courts have expressed no interest in hosting Islamic terrorists. ARPCT is actually backed by several (at least five) warlords who are part of the transitional government.
February 23, 2006: ARPCT and the Islamic Courts have negotiated a truce via tribal elders. The Islamic Courts are Islamic conservatives, but they are also more law abiding and disciplined than the many warlord militias. The Islamic Courts do not approve of the transitional government, and want to establish a religious dictatorship.
February 22, 2006: The fighting between ARPCT and Islamic Courts gunmen continues, with the death toll near forty, and over a hundred wounded. Many of the wounded eventually die because there is little professional medical care in the city.
February 20, 2006: After a short lull, fighting between warlord gunmen and those of the Islamic Courts, has resumed. Another half dozen have been killed. Over a hundred have been wounded in the past few days, many of them civilians. The warlord coalition taking on the Islamic Courts calls itself ARPCT (the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism).
February 19, 2006: The transitional government has asked the U.S. Navy to continue hunting for pirates off the 3.700 kilometer long Somali coast. The navy has not responded.
February 18, 2006: A dozen people died in Mogadishu as a warlord tried to settle a dispute with an Islamic Courts militia. The Islamic Courts are militias run by religious leaders, in an attempt to restore some form of law and order. The Islamic Courts are something like the Taliban, before the Taliban went over the edge.