At the heart of the Somali conflict is a struggle between the federal government and the insurgency presently known as al-Shabaab. The latter had inherited the legacy of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), a system of Islamist rule that restored order in Mogadishu in the mid-2000s after a decade-long civil war. International suspicion that the UIC was in the grip of al-Qaeda led to an invasion by neighbouring Ethiopia in 2006, supported by the United States. The UIC collapsed, but its enforcement wing regrouped and joined other militia groups to form al-Shabaab in 2006. A Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was established ...

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