The Islamic Courts militias are doing a full Taliban. In addition to forcibly shutting down bars, theaters and video stores in areas they control, they are blaming everything that has gone wrong in Somalia on Israel, Ethiopia (the usual fall guy in this part of the world) and the United States.
May 3, 2006: The Transitional government is upset with U.S. support of Mogadishu warlords who are fighting the Islamic Courts militia for control of the city. The government, which is a coalition of warlords, itself controls very little of the country. Giving money and arms to the Mogadishu warlords could upset the delicate balancing act that has created the Transitional government (which the UN backs and supports). The Islamic Courts are not part of the Transitional government, but want to establish a religious dictatorship in Somalia, modeled after the one that was overthrown in Afghanistan in late 2001.
April 29, 2006: Without providing many details, the U.S. Navy has sent back to Somalia ten of the twelve armed Somalis who fired on an American boarding party last March. The other two Somalis are still be treated for the injuries they received when a nearby American warship returned fire and destroyed the Somalia boat. It appears the Somalis were not pirates, just paranoid and trigger happy at the wrong time and place.
April 27, 2006: Another small coastal freighter was hijacked by pirates, less than ten kilometers from the coast. The only ships that operate off the coast these days are those that have made deals with the pirates. But there are several different groups of pirates, each under the control of a different warlord. A deal with one group, may not be respected by another.
April 26, 2006: More fighting in Mogadishu. There were several casualties, including at least two dead.
April 23, 2006: Fighting flared again in Mogadishu. There were several dozen casualties, including at least seven dead.