Operation Restore Hope

Grace Sullentrup

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Early Conditions in Somalia

Somalia experienced the worst drought of the century in 1992. The nation was also plagued with a civil war. These factors threatened to starve nearly 1.5 million (25%) Somali citizens. United Nations decides to intervene.
In August of 1992, United Nations began a peacekeeping mission, sending food and medical aid. The cause of the civil war, major war lords, made the mission more or less of a failure; the war lords kept the aid from being distributed. Seeing the lack of success, the President George H.W. Bush ordered troops into Somalia. The troops landed on December 9, 1992. Thus began Operation Restore Hope.
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Bill Clinton takes office in January 1993 and is anxious to get the United States troops back home. By May 1993, starving Somali are receiving aid and the operation is officially given back to United Nations.

In June 1993, 24 Pakistani peacekeepers are murdered under the orders of the warlord General Mohammed Aidid. The United States decides to send in 400 troops to Somalia to capture Aidid.

On October 3, in the capital city of Mogadishu, 18 soldiers were killed and 84 wounded during an assault in attempt to capture Aidid. Around 1,000 Somali were killed in the attack. History.com says this attack is the bloodiest since the Vietnam War.

Meanwhile, in America, Americans were watching the Battle of Mogadishu. Horrified viewers saw Aidid's men drag bodies through the street. This put pressure onto President Clinton to remove American troops.

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Children play in the wreckage in Mogadishu

Aidid was left at large when Clinton ordered all troops out of Somalia. He went as far as to say that it was a mistake to play the role of police in Somalia. By March 1994, all American troops were out of Somalia. The U.N. continued their mission of peacekeeping and "nation-building" until 1995.

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Works Cited

  • Bos, Carole "Black Hawk Down" AwesomeStories.com. 01 Dec 2001. Web. 3 May 2015.
  • “Clinton on U.S. Involvement in Somalia.” 2015. The History Channel website. Apr 30 2015, 2:12
  • History.com Staff. "Bush Orders U.S. Troops to Somalia." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.
  • "What A Downed Black Hawk In Somalia Taught America." Narr. Arun Rath. All Things Considered. NPR. National Public Radio. 5 Oct 2013. Web. 3 May 2015.