January 12, 2008:
Ethiopian troops continue clearing neighborhoods of weapons and hostile gunmen.
Over a thousand people a day are fleeing Mogadishu, and ending up in improvised
refugee camps on the outskirts. Foreign aid groups are having a hard time
providing food and other materials, because of the many gunmen hanging out in
these new camps. Moreover, the soldiers and police belonging to the
Transitional Government are increasingly going into the banditry business. This
has even resulted in armed standoffs between soldiers and policemen. With
Mogadishu changing hands, thousands of armed clan militia fighters are being
moved around, and made quite angry. The fighting will probably intensify, and
UN peacekeepers are not going to arrive in sufficient numbers to change
anything. About 300,000 people have fled Mogadishu in the last three months.
January 10, 2008: In Puntland, police
killed two members of a kidnapping gang, that had recently grabbed a French
journalist, and a doctor and nurse working for a foreign aid group.
January 8, 2008: In Mogadishu, 40 armed
men attacked an NGO compound, killing a security guard and chasing the rest
away. The compound was looted.
January 7, 2008: While Somalia gets
most of the publicity for increased pirate attacks, Nigeria had a larger share
of the piracy incidents (42 percent versus 31 percent) last year.
January 6, 2008: Several hundred
Islamic Courts gunmen are believed to be moving towards the temporary
Transitional Government capital in Baidoa. In Kenya, unrest following a
disputed presidential election, has paralyzed many parts of the government.
January 5, 2008: Gunmen in Mogadishu
kidnapped two Libyan diplomats, but released them after eleven hours.
January 4, 2008: The Transitional
Government reorganized, with a new set of fifteen ministers, replacing the
former 18. The ministries are assigned to placate the largest number of clans
and warlords. The 73 year old president is ill, and went to Kenya, then
Britain, seeking medical treatment.