On October 6 President Clinton ordered an end to all U.S. operations in Somalia except self-defense, announcing that all US forces would withdraw no later than Mar. 31 1994 — not least because the dead soldier's bodies were dragged through the streets by elated civilians. There were similar scenes during the recent peacekeeping mission.
When the peacekeepers left, Somalia went back to much the same as it had been before: protection racketeering, hijacking and open battles between rival warlords and their respective clans/factions. Mogadishu residents — as always — suffered worst.
The warlords formed the Transitional National Government (TNG) when they met in Djibouti 2000, but it improved nothing in Somalia. The battles between the warlords and rival clans/factions lessened, but that just freed up more gunmen to roam the streets robbing, raping and pillaging. The situation remained the same after the Transitional Federal Government was formed at a second meeting in Kenya in 2004.
Bush Junior's Mistakes:
The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) began to sweep to power in mid-2006. They swept the chaos and violence away, replacing it with their brand of socially restrictive but peaceful and secure calm in the areas they controlled. Children could go back to school and nurses could treat the sick instead of droves of war wounded.
Because of this the UIC enjoyed popular support, not least from the businessmen who founded and funded the growingly popular group. The UIC had the TFG and its warlords holed up in one town, Baidoa within months. Ethiopian troops began appearing in and around Baidoa to strengthen the TFG foothold. The UIC began to attract the world's attention, not least with their threats to attack the Ethiopian invaders, as well as reports of the UIC closing cinemas and stoning women for not wearing Hijabs.
Their hard-line brand of Salafist Islam and Islamic (Sharia) Law put the UIC on the U.S.' radar; in the crosshairs of the War on Terror. Not too long after that the inevitable al Qaeda connection was made. I am not denying an al Qaeda connection to a few members of the group, though I would say more that UIC hardliners sought al Qaeda affiliation than actually had it. Nor will I deny that a large number of UIC followers were (are) hard-line Islamists, because it was in fact that branch of the group that was responsible for their firepower and rapid sweep to power. But there was a moderate following just as large and powerful within the group.