In December 1992, U.S. President George H. W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to join the U.N. in a joint operation known as Operation Restore Hope, with the primary mission of restoring order in Somalia. The country was divided politically and various zones of the country were claimed by various warlords. The situation deteriorated quickly.
In May 1993, all the individual armies participating in the civil war agreed to a disarmament conference at the invitation of Somali warlord, Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The Somali National Alliance had been formed in June 1992. Aidid named himself President of Somalia, and organized the other warlords to be under his authority. Civilians also greatly resented the international presense and would frequently attack coalition soldiers. On June 5, 1993, 24 Pakistani soldiers were ambushed and killed in an Aidid-controlled area of Mogadishu.
The next day, the U.N.'s Security Council issued Resolution 837, calling for the arrest and trial of the individuals responsible for the ambush, namely Aidid. U.S. warplanes and U.N. troops began an attack on Aidid's stronghold. Aidid, however, showed no desire to surrender and ordered his forces into battle.
Battle of MogadishuEdit
- Main Article: Battle of Mogadishu
On October 3, 1993, the Unted States government received intelligence suggesting that two of Aidid's lieutenants were hiding in a building in central Mogadishu. A task force was organized to arrest these men. The men were captured, and loaded onto a convoy of vehicles, along with an American serviceman who had been injured falling from a helicopter. Aidid's militia, aided by armed civilians including women and children attacked the convoy. One service member was killed by small arms fire. A Black Hawk helicopter, Super Six Four, was downed by an RPG. The pilots were killed but the crew survived, and the soldiers closest to the scene attempted a rescue. Eventually, all remaining forces in the field converged on the crash site. The American soldiers found themselves surrounded by the Habr Gidr militia. The Somalis did not bombard the site with mortars out of concern of civilian hostages. the Somalis charged at the downed helicopter but were repelled each time. Eventually, a rescue convoy of the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, Malaysian, and Pakistani forces was able to rescue the party.
All military actions were ceased on October 6, except in cases of self-defense. Clinton called for a full withdrawal by March 31, 1994. Most troops were out of the country by March 25, 1994. The U.N. withdrew as well.