U.S. Marines Sets To Restore Peace In Conflict-Ridden Mogadishu, Somalia - 12/9/1992

World History |


Today in 1992, in Mogadishu, Somalia, 1,800 United States Marines arrive in an effort to lead the multinational force ordered by the U.N. to reestablish peace and order in the conflict-turn country.

Mogadishu became the capital of Somalia in 1960 after several years of being under colonial masters like Portugal, Britain and Italy. However, 10 years later, Major General Said Barre led a military coup that seized control of the government and declared Somalia a communist state. In mid-1970, famine hit the country hard while ethnic Somalis living in a province of Ethiopia were denied food. 

By 1981, nearly 2 million of the country's citizens were displaced. In 1988, the country signed a peace treaty with Ethiopia yet, it did little to curb the internal conflict going on within different Somalia rival clans and in January 1991 Barre fled the capital city. Throughout the following 23 months, the country's civil war killed close to 50,000 people, while another 300,000 died of hunger as United Nations peacekeeping forces effort to reestablish order and help the country did not yield any tangible result.

In December of 1992, as part of the peace mission tagged "Operation Restore Hope" President George H.W. Bush ordered the deployment of U.S. Marines to the country, and within few months, the troops were able to restore food distribution and other humanitarian aid operations with the help of international aid workers and the backing of the U.S. Army. However, violence was still rampant in the region and this led to the death of 24 United Nations soldiers from Pakistan in 1993. The death of the soldiers made the U.N. ordered for the arrest of General Mohammed Farah Aidid one of the leaders of the rebel group. On October 3, 1993, during the offensive attack, two of the U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and 18 soldiers were killed.

The following day, General Mohammed Farah Aidid's followers drag the dead body of one of the U.S. Marines on the street of Mogadishu with joy as viewers from around the world watched the disturbing scene on TV. Immediately, President Bill Clinton ordered all American troops to withdraw from Somalia before March 31, 1994. This new development made other Western Powers follow suit. In 1995, the last U.N. peacekeepers left the country without finishing the mission that had cost more than $2 billion. 

However, Mogadishu does not have a stable government even though a peace treaty was signed in Kenya in 2002, and a new government was installed in 2004. It failed to stop the violence that had destroyed the country. Until this present day, Somalia is facing war from different factions in several regions of the country, each struggling to seize power of the conflict-ridden country. 

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