Operation Restore Hope

From Academic Kids

Operation Restore Hope was an American military operation with the support of the United Nations which was formed to deliver humanitarian aid and restore order to the African nation of Somalia which was suffering from a severe famine, general anarchy, and domination by a number of warlords following the collapse of Siad Barre's Marxist government.

On January 30, 1993, P.F.C. Domingo Arroyo Jr., a Marine from Puerto Rico became the first of 44 American soldiers killed during the U.S. relief effort in the Somalian Civil War. He was ambushed in Mogadishu.

After president Clinton was inaugurated, in supporting the UN, he decided to reduce the number of troops to be replaced by UN troops and to hand over the lead to the UN. By June 1993 only 1,800 US troops remained.

In March 1993, the UN officially took over while a federalist government based on 18 autonomous regions was agreed upon by the leaders of Somalia's various armed factions. The UN renamed the mission to UNOSOM II. The objective of UNOSOM II was to initiate 'nation building' in Somalia; disarm the various factions, restore law and order, help the people to set up a representative government, and restore the infrastructure.

However on June 5, 24 Pakistani troops were assassinated by Somalian millitia members while inspecting an arms weapons storage site. Warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and his followers were convicted of being behind this massacre, and on June 12, US and UN troops started attacking targets in Mogadishu related to Aidid, which lasted until June 16. On June 19, a $25,000 warrant was issued by US Admiral Howe for information leading to the arrest of Aidid, but he was never captured. He also requested a counter-terrorist rescue force after the killings of the Pakistani troops. On July 12, a house where clan leaders were meeting was attacked by US Cobra helicopters. Several buildings were destroyed and many Somalians died. When four western journalists wanted to investigate the scene, they were beaten to death by a Somalian mob. In the following weeks even more U.S. soldiers were killed and wounded. On August 8, taskforce Ranger was deployed. The hunt for Aidid and his lieutenants then began, leading to the Battle of Mogadishu, resulting in 500-1000 Somalian millitia and civilians, eighteen American and 2 Pakistani troops being killed.

President Clinton then decided to withdraw the American forces.


In January 1991, the leader of Somalia, Mohammed Siad Barre, was overtrown by a coalition of opposing clans called the United Somalia Congress. After this revolution the coalition divided into two groups. One was led by Ali Mahdi, who became president, and the other by Mohammed Farah Aidid. In total there were four opposing groups: the United Somali Congress (USC), Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), and Somali Democratic Movement (SDM) which continued to fight over the domination of Somalia. In June 1991 a ceasefire was agreed, which these groups however failed to hold. A fifth group; the Somali National Movement (SNM) had already in June secessed the northwest of Somalia as the Somaliland Republic, with the leader of the SNM, Abdel-Rahman Ahmed Ali as president.

In September 1991, severe fighting broke out in Mogadishu which succeeded in the following months and spread throughout the country with over 20,000 people killed or injured by the end of the year. These wars led to the destruction of the agriculture of Somalia which led to starvation in large parts of Somalia. The international community begun to sent food supplies to halt the starvation. However vast amounts of food were hijacked and brought to local clan leaders. The food was routinely exchanged with other countries for weapons by them. An estimated 80% of the food was stolen. These factors led to even more starvation of which an estimated 300,000 people died and another 1.5 million suffering between 1991 and 1992. In July 1992, after a ceasefire between the opposing clan factions, the United Nations (UN) sent 50 millitairy observers to hold sight on the distribution of the food.

In August 1992 the United States (USA) initiated Operation Provide Relief (UNOSOM I) to provide humanitarian relief for the people. Other Western nations also contributed to this airlift and the UN sent some troops to oversee the operation. However most of the food was looted directly on landing of these planes. This made the operation a failure and the UN therefore asked his members for assistance.

In December 1992 as president Bush of the USA was preparing to leave office, he proposed to help under the restriction that the US Combat troops would lead the operation. After the UN accepted this offer 25,000 US troops were deployed to Somalia and the mission was renamed to Operation Restore Hope and became UNOSOM II.

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