A civil war in Somalia had raged since the late 1980s when dictator Siad Barre began to face significant resistance to his rule at home. By the early 1990s, the conflict had led to a complete breakdown in civil order and a humanitarian disaster in the country.
In response to this, the United Nations authorized a military operation to create a humanitarian corridor in the southern portion of the country. The United States led this effort, code-named Operation Restore Hope. Marines arrived in Somalia and launched an amphibious attack on Mogadishu on December 9, 1992.
After the deaths of Pakistani peacekeepers during the operation, the United Nations changed the scope of the deployment, authorizing "all necessary measures" to protect and guarantee aid deliveries to the entire country. This led to an increase in military deployment to Somalia, and in October 1993, the infamous 'Black Hawk Down' incident in Mogadishu occurred when eighteen American soldiers were killed and a Black Hawk helicopter shot down by rebel factions.
UN operations in Somalia lasted until 1995. The country continues to struggle with anarchy, effective government and a collapsed economy following the disastrous civil war.
Photographer: TSGT PERRY HEIMER
Location taken: Mogadishu, Somalia
Source: Wikimedia Commons
- 1992-12-09 Operation Restore Hope: US Marines land in Somalia