August 14, 2006: Islamic Courts gunmen seized two coastal towns that had been used as bases for pirates, and promised to eradicate piracy. The pirates were already having a hard time because of the increased patrols by foreign warships along the coast, and the policy of merchant ships staying several hundred kilometers off the coast.
August 12, 2006: More warlords and clan leaders are joining the Islamic Courts. This is because the use of Islamic law, and religion, to bring some order and discipline to the population, is very popular. For fifteen years now, bandits and gangsters have had the run of the country, and people are tired of it. The Transitional Government was going to try and use civil law to bring order, but religious law has the advantage of already possessing a large number of judges, in the form of any religious leader who could rattle off enough verses from the Koran. Most lawyers and judges had long since emigrated.
August 10, 2006: Ethiopian troops clashed with Somali gunmen who crossed the border into Ethiopia. Thirteen Somalis were killed and several captured. The Somalis were identified as members of the Ogaden Liberation Front, a separatist group that has been quiet lately, and hiding out in Somalia.
Gunmen of the Islamic Courts have been advancing again on the last stronghold of the Transitional Government, Baidoa. The Islamic Courts have been proclaiming the presence of Christian Ethiopian soldiers inside Somalia as something that requires a jihad to fix. This prompted some ethnic Somali separatists from Ethiopia to go back to Ethiopia, where most of them were promptly killed. In addition to preaching jihad, the Islamic Courts also insist that it is willing to negotiate with the Transitional Government, which is another way of saying that they are willing to discuss terms of surrender. The Islamic Courts are on a mission from God, and failure is not an option.