Somalia: Expansive Plans


November 1, 2006: Islamic Courts and Transitional Government peace negotiators are in Sudan, but they refuse to negotiate. The Islamic Courts want all Ethiopian troops out of Somalia first. Ethiopia says it has only a few hundred trainers in the country, the Islamic Courts insists there are as many as 8,000 Ethiopian soldiers in Somalia. The Transitional Government believes there are 2,000 Eritrean troops in Somalia, to support the Islamic Courts.

October 31, 2006: Islamic Courts gunmen are slowly surrounding the Transitional Government stronghold at Baidoa. However, a final battle would involve several thousand Ethiopian troops apparently camped in and around Baidoa. Meanwhile, the Islamic Courts encounter increased hostility from Somalis who don't care to live under Islamic law. The Islamic Courts say they will go after Puntland, Somaliland and areas in Ethiopia with Somali populations, once they have destroyed the Transitional Government of Somalia.

October 29, 2006: Yemen has broken one arms smuggling group, composed of Australians and Europeans who had converted to Islam and were working for al Qaeda. The group had a boat, and cash for buying weapons in Yemen, which were then taken to Somalia.

October 28, 2006: The flow of refugees from Somalia to Kenya has declined by about two thirds in the last week. Currently, about 300 a day are coming across the border. So far this year, over 30,000 Somalis have fled into Kenya. Many more have fled to refuges within Somalia.

October 27, 2006: Islamic Courts gunmen captured another town, Sakow, from the Transitional Government. Sakow is 170 kilometers southwest of the Transitional Government stronghold of Baidoa.


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