Clans that backed the Islamic radicals continue to host several dozen
men who, daily to shoot at Ethiopian troops, and gunmen belonging to rival
clans. One of these terrorist groups has a mortar, which they use to fire a few
shells each day at their opponents. Small rockets are also fired. The
Ethiopians have been responding with artillery fire into neighborhoods of the
guilty clans. This violence is causing about two dozen casualties a day
(including 3-4 dead) in Mogadishu. The violence is mostly about money. The
clans that supported the Islamic Courts got most of the economic opportunities.
That means they could collect extortion payments, in the form of
"taxes" or "fees", or simply had the right to run some
types of businesses. Well, now those operations are largely shut down, and
pro-Transitional Government clans have control of the cash. There are now over
a dozen check points set up in Mogadishu, run by various clans. Trucks have to
pay a fee to get past each one of them.
20, 2007: The UN officially approved the peacekeeping force for Somalia,
to be supplied by the African Union. A Ugandan force of some 1,500 troops is
expected to arrive next week.
19, 2007: The government has formed a rapid reaction force to chase down the
small number of clansmen who are causing the daily violence in Mogadishu. The
troublemakers are believed to be members of pro-Islamic Courts clans, who
believe they are on a mission from God, and won't stop the attacks until they
are killed. The rapid reaction will be trained with the help of the Ethiopians
and will eventually have 700 troops.
18, 2007: A car exploded in Mogadishu, killing the four men inside. This
does not appear to be a terrorist act, but some guys getting careless with
explosives. The only injuries were the passengers.
16, 2007: UN investigators have found that Syria, Libya and Iran provided
money, weapons and training for members of the Islamic Courts. This began last
Summer, after the Islamic Courts took Mogadishu. Hundreds of Islamic Courts men
were flown to training camps in Syria and Libya, and some of those men participated
in last Summers war between Israel and Hizbollah.