While newspapers are filled with news about the pirates of Somalia, there is a war for power that is lasting between the loyal and hardline Islamists.
Thousands of innocent people die in this fight. Since the beginning of the insurgency in December 2006, nearly 17,000 civilians lost their lives.
Militiamen run in a street during a firefight against Government troops in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on March 30, 2009. Somalia's new President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a moderate Islamist cleric, has signed up to a UN-sponsored national reconciliation process and received international backing. Meanwhile the Shabaab faction, which control much of southern and central Somalia, appear to have little political or popular backing, their ability to destabilise the country remains high and they have reportedly received the support of hundreds of foreign jihadists in recent months. Somalia has had no effective central authority since the 1991 ouster of former president Mohamed Siad Barre touched off a bloody cycle of clashes between rival factions.
A Somali islamist militant loyal to Hezb al-Islamiya is pictured at a frontline position near the Hodan district in Mogadishu on May 23, 2009. The Shabaab and Hezb al-Islamiya fighters are the main insurgent groups trying to topple President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's internationally recognised transitional government. Government forces encountered fierce resistance as they tried unsuccessfully yesterday to drive the Islamist insurgents from the Somalian capital of Mogadishu.
Islamist fighters ride in the back of a cut-out SUV in Mogadishu during fierce clashes May 22, 2009. Battles left at least six people dead as Somali government forces attempted to drive Islamist rebels out of the capital, officials and witnesses said. Troops attacked the rebels in three positions in southern Mogadishu which they wrested from the government during recent heavy clashes.
Armed men ride the back of a pick-up truck near the roundabout called "km 4" and renowed for being a particularly violent place in downtown Mogadishu on May 26, 2009.
Ugandan soldiers serving in Somalia under the African Union mission in Somalia load their machine guns at a firing range on one of their bases in Mogadishu on May 27, 2009.
Somalia's President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed speaks during a press conference at the Presidential palace in Mogadishu on May 27, 2009. Ahmed on Wednesday accused Eritrea of arming hardline Islamists fighting to oust his government, a day after his own palace came under a barrage of mortar shells.
Teenage hard-line Islamist fighters man a checkpoint at a road near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, on May 14, 2009. Insurgents have been redeploying many forces from across the country to launch an unprecedented offensive, while Ugandan and Burundian African Union peacekeepers held the fort for Sharif's beleaguered administration. Government forces-backed AU peacekeepers controlled only the presidential compound, a handful of other government institutions in adjacent buildings, the airport and the seaport, witnesses and an AFP correspondent said.
Islamist militants from the Hizb-al-Islamiya take positions at Wardhiglay Police station in Mogadishu on May 10, 2009.
An Islamist fighter opposed to the Somali government mans a position near the presidential palace in Mogadishu on May 17, 2009.
A Ugandan Army soldier serving in Somalia under a contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) rides atop an armored vehicle near the port of Mogadishu on May 26, 2009.
A Somali insurgent loyal to Hezb al-Islamiya communicates on his cellular telephone while manning a frontline position next to the Bakara market in Mogadishu on May 23, 2009.
A Somali policeman holds his weapon as he sits inside his vehicle while he and others provide security at the port in Mogadishu on May 26, 2009.
Released by the US Navy on May 25, 2009, this photo shows Somali migrants who were fleeing their country in a disabled skiff as they wait for assistance from Sailors aboard the cruiser USS Lake Champlain. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by helicopter pilots assigned to the "Wolfpack" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 45 while patrolling the area.
Cargo ships sit anchored off the shore of Mogadishu as they wait their turn to come into port to be unloaded, on May 27, 2009. Although Mogadishu has been ravaged by constant fighting between warring factions vying for power, business in the country has never really stopped. Dozens of ships come weekly to the port to deliver imported goods and much needed humanitarian aid.
A Somali dock worker leans against sacks of food aid loaded on to a truck as they recently arrived by ship at Mogadishu's port on May 26, 2009. The UN says that Somalia has become a massive humanitarian crisis with over three million people in "acute need" of aid.
Hardline Islamist militants from Hezb al-Islamiya patrol a deserted road in southern Mogadishu May 25, 2009.
A fighter belonging to the Al-Shabaab militia runs with his weapon during clashes with Somali government troops in the streets of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu on May 22, 2009.
A Somali insurgent mans a position next to a road at Tribune area in Hodan district on May 23, 2009.
Al-Shabaab militiamen fire on Somali government troops in the streets of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu on May 22, 2009.
A Ugandan soldier serving in somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) provides security during his convoy's stop at the port of Mogadishu on May 26, 2009.
Somali women sit on the ground as they patiently wait for medical attention under the sun outside a military base used by Ugandan peacekeepers on May 25, 2009. Hundreds of Somali men and women come to an outpatient clinic inside the base three times a week to receive free medical care.
A boy and a girl stand next to a makeshift tent at a camp for Internally Displaced People, on the outskirts of Mogadishu on May 21, 2009. The lives of more than 50,000 severely malnourished children are at risk after Islamist militants looted medical and relief stocks in a town in central Somalia, UNICEF said this week.
A Somali man too sick to walk lies on a wooden cart as he waits to be screened by security personnel at the entrance of a military base used by Ugandan peacekeepers on May 25, 2009.
Somali Islamists loyal to the transitional federal government walk past bullet-riddled buildings during a patrol in northern Mogadishu, May 26, 2009. (REUTERS/Ismail Taxta
A Ugandan soldier serving in somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) rides atop an armored vehicle during a convoy in the streets of downtown Mogadishu on May 26, 2009.