Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Tip the Balance


November8, 2006: The UN believes there are at least 6,000 Ethiopian and 2,000 Eritrean troops inside Somalia, and that these troops are taking part in the fighting (Ethiopians for the Transitional Government, Eritreans for the Islamic Courts.)

November 7, 2006: A new round of peace talks between the Transitional Government and Islamic Courts have begun. The Islamic Courts are apparently intimidated by the large numbers of Ethiopian troops they are encountering around Baidoa, and don't want to get into a war with them.

Meanwhile, some 30 Islamic Courts gunmen attacked the Indian ship that pirates had seized three days ago, wounding two of the pirates, and freed the 14 crew. The ship will be taken to Mogadishu, and then freed.

November 6, 2006: Islamic Courts gunmen fought with Puntland militias on the border of Somalia and Puntland. The Islamic Courts have been trying to develop support in Puntland, and gain control of the area.

November 5, 2006: Islamic Courts gunmen ambushed a truck full of Transitional Government troops outside Baidoa, and killed two of them.

November 4, 2006: For the third day in a row, Islamic Courts forces outside the Transitional Government stronghold of Baidoa, "tested" their artillery (by firing it at empty ground). The Islamic Courts denied earlier accusations that they had called for terror attacks against Kenya and Ethiopia, and apparently held back from attacking Baidoa because of the thousands of Ethiopian troops believed to be there. Inside Baidoa, gunmen searched for clergy believed working for the Islamic Courts.

Off the coast, pirates seized an Indian cargo ship, and demanded a million dollar ransom.




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