TO UNOSOM II
II: MARCH 1993 – JULY 1994
II: AUGUST 1994 -- MARCH 1995
Following the downfall of President Siad Barre in 1991, a civil war broke out in Somalia between the faction supporting Interim President Ali Mahdi Mohamed and that supporting General Mohamed Farah Aidid. The United Nations, in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and other organizations, sought to resolve the conflict. The Secretary-General in 1991 dispatched an envoy to whom all faction leaders expressed support for a United Nations peace role. The United Nations also became engaged in providing humanitarian aid, in cooperation with relief organizations. The war had resulted in nearly 1million refugees and almost 5 million people threatened by hunger and disease.
The Security Council in January 1992 imposed an arms embargo against Somalia. The Secretary-General organized talks between the parties, who agreed on a ceasefire, to be monitored by United Nations observers, and on the protection of humanitarian convoys by United Nations security personnel. In April, the Council established the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM I).
The relief effort was hampered by continued fighting and insecurity. The Security Council in August decided to deploy some 3,000 additional troops to protect humanitarian aid. But the situation continued to worsen, with aid workers under attack as famine threatened 1.5 million people.
The United States in November 1992 offered to organize and lead an operation to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The Security Council accepted the offer and authorized the use of "all necessary means" to establish a secure environment for the relief effort. The Unified Task Force (UNITAF), made up of contingents from 24 countries led by the United States, quickly secured all major relief centres, and by year's end humanitarian aid was again flowing. UNOSOM remained responsible for protecting the delivery of assistance and for political efforts to end the war.
At a meeting convened by the Secretary-General in early 1993, 14 Somali political movements agreed on a ceasefire and pledged to hand over all weapons to UNITAF and UNOSOM. In March, the United Nations organized an aid conference at which donors pledged over $130 million. At a reconciliation conference organized by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative for Somalia, the leaders of 15 political movements endorsed an accord on disarmament, reconstruction and the formation of a transitional Government.
On 3 March 1993, the Secretary-General submitted to the Security Council a report containing his recommendations for effecting the transition from UNITAF to UNOSOM II. He indicated that since the adoption of Council resolution 794 (1992) in December 1992, UNITAF had deployed approximately 37,000 troops in southern and central Somalia, covering approximately 40 per cent of the country's territory. The presence and operations of UNITAF had a positive impact on the security situation in Somalia and on the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance. He pointed out, however, that despite the improvement, a secure environment had not yet been established in Somalia and incidents of violence continued to occur. There was still no effective functioning government in the country, no organized civilian police force and no disciplined national armed force. The security threat to personnel of the United Nations and its agencies, UNITAF, ICRC and NGOs was still high in some areas of Mogadishu and other places in Somalia. Moreover, there was no deployment of UNITAF or UNOSOM troops to the north-east and north-west, or along the Kenyan-Somali border, where security continued to be a matter of grave concern.
The Secretary-General concluded, therefore, that, should the Security Council determine that the time had come for the transition from UNITAF to UNOSOM II, the latter should be endowed with enforcement powers under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter so as to be able to establish a secure environment throughout Somalia. To that end, UNOSOM II, under the mandate recommended by the Secretary-General, would seek to complete, through disarmament and reconciliation, the task begun by UNITAF for the restoration of peace, stability, law and order. The mandate would also empower UNOSOM II to provide assistance to the Somali people in rebuilding their economy and social and political life, re-establishing the country's institutional structure, achieving national political reconciliation, recreating a Somali State based on democratic governance and rehabilitating the country's economy and infrastructure.
The mandate of UNOSOM II, covering the whole territory of Somalia, would include the following military tasks: (a) monitoring that all factions continued to respect the cessation of hostilities and other agreements to which they had consented; (b) preventing any resumption of violence and, if necessary, taking appropriate action against any faction that violated or threatened to violate the cessation of hostilities; (c) maintaining control of the heavy weapons of the organized factions which would have been brought under international control pending their eventual destruction or transfer to a newly constituted national army; (d) seizing the small arms of all unauthorized armed elements and assisting in the registration and security of such arms; (e) securing or maintaining security at all ports, airports and lines of communications required for the delivery of humanitarian assistance; (f) protecting the personnel, installations and equipment of the United Nations and its agencies, ICRC as well as NGOs, and taking such forceful action as might be required to neutralize armed elements that attacked, or threatened to attack, such facilities and personnel, pending the establishment of a new Somali police force which could assume this responsibility; (g) continuing the programme for mine-clearing in the most afflicted areas; (h) assisting in the repatriation of refugees and displaced persons within Somalia; (i) carrying out such other functions as might be authorized by the Security Council.
Concerning disarmament, the Secretary-General stated that on the basis of the Addis Ababa agreements, a planning committee composed of senior officers from both UNITAF and UNOSOM developed a "Somalia ceasefire disarmament concept". This concept would require the establishment of cantonment, for storage of heavy weapons, as well as transition sites for temporary accommodation of factional forces while they turned in their small arms, registered for future governmental and non-governmental support and received training for eventual reintegration into civilian life. Cantonment and transition sites would be separated from each other to prevent any possibility of factions or groups seizing the heavy weapons. Those failing to comply with timetables or other modalities of the disarmament process would have their weapons and equipment confiscated and/or destroyed.
The Secretary-General estimated that it would be necessary to deploy a military component of 20,000 all ranks to carry out the assigned tasks and an additional 8,000 personnel to provide the logistic support. In addition, the United States Government agreed in principle to provide a tactical quick reaction force in support of the Force Commander of UNOSOM II. UNOSOM II would also include civilian staff of approximately 2,800 individuals.
The Secretary-General suggested 1 May 1993 as the date of transfer of budgetary and administrative control from UNITAF to UNOSOM II. It was subsequently decided that the transfer of the military command would take place on 4 May.
On 5 March 1993, the Secretary-General appointed Admiral Jonathan T. Howe (Ret.) of the United States as his new Special Representative for Somalia for an initial period of three months, effective 9 March 1993. He was asked to oversee the transition from UNITAF to UNOSOM II, in addition to continuing the tasks of "promoting political reconciliation, coordinating humanitarian assistance and paving the way for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country". Earlier, the Secretary-General had appointed Lieutenant-General Çevik Bir of Turkey as Force Commander of UNOSOM II.
UNOSOM II Established
On 26 March, the Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, adopted resolution 814 (1993), by which it decided to expand the size and mandate of UNOSOM in accordance with the Secretary-General's recommendations. It authorized the mandate for the expanded UNOSOM for an initial period through 31 October 1993. The Council demanded that all Somali parties comply fully with the commitments they had undertaken, and in particular with the Agreement on Implementing the Ceasefire and on Modalities of Disarmament, and that they ensure the safety of the personnel of all organizations engaged in humanitarian and other assistance to Somalia. All States, in particular neighbouring ones, were called upon to cooperate in the implementation of the arms embargo established under resolution 733 (1992).
In other provisions of the resolution, the Council requested the Secretary-General, through his Special Representative, and with assistance from all relevant United Nations entities, offices and specialized agencies, to provide humanitarian and other assistance to the people of Somalia in rehabilitating their political institutions and economy and promoting political settlement and national reconciliation. Such assistance should include economic relief and rehabilitation of Somalia, the repatriation of refugees and displaced persons within Somalia, the re-establishment of national and regional institutions and civil administration in the entire country, the re-establishment of Somali police, mine-clearance and public information activities in support of the United Nations activities in Somalia.
The deployment of UNITAF forces improved the security situation and facilitated the flow of food and other emergency relief supplies into the neediest areas of Somalia. The level of malnutrition and death from starvation fell dramatically in many areas. In spite of the improvements, however, the humanitarian and political situation in many parts of the country remained complex and tense. In the southern and central parts of Somalia, large numbers of people remained destitute and totally dependent on relief food assistance. Measles, diarrhoea and other infections continued to take a heavy toll, particularly on small children. Lack of access to clean water sources and poor sanitation continued to present major health threats.
In his 3 March 1993 report, the Secretary-General pointed out that a secure environment remained essential for the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and for the reconstruction of Somalia. He identified three major challenges facing the United Nations in 1993: facilitating the voluntary return of approximately 300,000 refugees and internally displaced persons; providing jobs and work for the many millions of unemployed Somalis, including members of armed gangs, militias and various private armies; and helping the Somalis in rebuilding their society and rehabilitating the decayed infrastructure.
To achieve these objectives, the United Nations, with the active participation of the Somalis, United Nations agencies, ICRC and NGOs, put together a new Relief and Rehabilitation Programme for the war- and drought-ravaged country. The Programme was adopted at the United Nations Conference on Humanitarian Assistance to Somalia, held from 11 to 13 March 1993 in Addis Ababa under the chairmanship of the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. The Conference was attended by some 190 Somali representatives, as well as senior representatives of donor Governments, international agencies, regional organizations and NGOs.
The Programme, covering the period from March to December 1993, included activities in 10 priority areas: re-establishment of local administrative capacity; re-establishment of national and local police forces; support services for women, particularly those victimized by violence and trauma; return of some 300,000 refugees and over 1 million displaced persons within Somalia; development of a food security system; establishment of a basic health care system; increasing the availability of potable water and of sanitation; expansion of agriculture and enhancement of livestock; work opportunities for the unemployed; and re-establishment of primary education and vocational training.
At the March 1993 Addis Ababa Conference, over $130 million was pledged by international donors towards the implementation of the Programme, which was estimated to cost some $166.5 million. It was anticipated that further resources would be forthcoming as the implementation of the various projects gained momentum.
National Reconciliation Conference
As the Secretary-General indicated in his 3 March report, ultimately all the efforts undertaken by the United Nations in Somalia were directed towards one central goal: to assist the people of Somalia to create and maintain order and new institutions for their own governance.
The Secretary-General and his Special Representative continued to give high priority to national reconciliation in Somalia. As agreed at the January 1993 informal meeting and following considerable preparatory work, the Conference on National Reconciliation in Somalia was convened on 15 March 1993 in Addis Ababa. The Conference was chaired by the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Ambassador Lansana Kouyate of Guinea, and attended by the leaders of 15 Somali political movements, as well as the representatives of LAS, OAU, OIC, the Standing Committee of the Countries of the Horn and the Non-Aligned Movement.
After almost two weeks of intensive negotiations, the leaders of all 15 Somali political movements signed, on 27 March 1993, an Agreement of the First Session of the Conference of National Reconciliation in Somalia. At the closing session of the Conference on 28 March, the agreement was unanimously endorsed by all the participants, including representatives of women's and community organizations, as well as elders and scholars.
The Agreement comprised four parts: disarmament and security, rehabilitation and reconstruction, restoration of property and settlement of disputes, and transitional mechanisms. The Somali parties resolved to put an end to armed conflict and to reconcile their differences through peaceful means. They also agreed to consolidate and carry forward advances in peace, security and dialogue made since the beginning of 1993. They reaffirmed their commitment to comply fully with the ceasefire agreement signed in Addis Ababa in January 1993, including the handing over of all weapons and ammunition to UNITAF and UNOSOM II.
The agreement provided for a transitional period of two years, effective 27 March 1993. The transitional mechanism was to consist of the following four basic organs of authority:
The agreement also provided for the appointment by TNC of a Transitional Charter Drafting Committee, to draft a transitional charter, guided by the basic principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Somalia's traditional ethics. The Somali parties invited the Secretary-General and his Special Representative to extend all necessary assistance to the people of Somalia for its implementation.
The Secretary-General welcomed the agreement as an important achievement of the Somali people and noted that it represented the first positive step following the adoption by the Security Council on 26 March of resolution 814 (1993). He urged the Somali leaders to proceed without any delay to work out the practical arrangements for implementing the Agreement.
Incidents on 5 June
Following the transition from UNITAF to UNOSOM II in May 1993, it became clear that, although signatory to the March Agreement, General Aidid's faction would not cooperate in the Agreement's implementation. Attempts by UNOSOM II to implement disarmament led to increasing tensions and, on 5 June, to violence. In a series of armed attacks against UNOSOM II troops throughout south Mogadishu by Somali militia apparently belonging to General Aidid's faction, 25 Pakistani soldiers were killed, 10 were reported missing and 54 wounded. The bodies of the victims were mutilated and subjected to other forms of degrading treatment. The Secretary-General, on 6 June,14 strongly condemned this "treacherous act" against peacekeepers "who were on a mission of peace, reconciliation and reconstruction" and urged prompt and firm action against the perpetrators. Special Representative Howe stated that the soldiers were "murdered as they sought to serve the neediest people in the city". He said that 12 of the soldiers were helping unload food at a feeding station "when they were foully attacked by cowards who placed women and children in front of armed men".
The Security Council reacted to these developments in resolution 837 (1993) on 6 June. It strongly condemned the unprovoked armed attacks against UNOSOM II which "appear to have been part of a calculated and premeditated series of ceasefire violations to prevent by intimidation UNOSOM II from carrying out its mandate". It reaffirmed that the Secretary-General was authorized under resolution 814 (1993) to take all necessary measures against those responsible for the armed attacks and for publicly inciting them, including their arrest and detention for prosecution, trial and punishment. The Council requested him to investigate the incident, particularly on the role of the factional leaders involved.
The Council demanded that all Somali parties comply fully with their commitments regarding political reconciliation, ceasefire and disarmament. It reaffirmed the crucial importance of the early implementation of the disarmament of all Somali parties and of neutralizing radio broadcasting systems that contributed to the violence and attacks against UNOSOM II. On 8 June, 11 Somali parties condemned the attacks and expressed support for Security Council resolution 837 (1993).
UNOSOM II Responds Militarily
To implement resolution 837 (1993), UNOSOM II initiated military action on 12 June 1993, conducting a series of air and ground military actions in south Mogadishu. UNOSOM II removed Radio Mogadishu from the control of USC/SNA (General Aidid's faction), and disabled or destroyed militia weapons and equipment in a number of storage sites and clandestine military facilities. The Secretary-General, in a statement released on the same day, said that the objective of the action was to restore peace to Mogadishu "so that the political reconciliation, rehabilitation and disarmament process can continue to move forward throughout Somalia". He stated that this should be seen in the context of the international community's commitment to the national disarmament programme endorsed by all Somali parties at Addis Ababa on 27 March 1993.
The action by UNOSOM II was strongly supported by the Security Council. At the same time, the Council expressed deep regret at any civilian casualties caused, adding that an investigation was under way into an incident on 13 June which had involved such casualties among the Somalis. Preliminary reports indicated that General Aidid and his supporters had used civilians, including women and children, as human shields for attacks on UNOSOM II.
On 18 June, the Security Council condemned the practice of "some Somali factions and movements in using women and children as human shields to perpetrate their attacks against UNOSOM", and deplored the civilian deaths that had resulted "despite the timely measures adopted to prevent this from happening".
Aidid Asked to Surrender
In parallel with its disarmament operations, UNOSOM II instituted an investigation of the 5 June incident. On 17 June, citing mounting evidence implicating SNA militia in the attack, the Special Representative called on General Aidid to surrender peacefully to UNOSOM II and to urge his followers to surrender their arms. He directed the UNOSOM Force Commander to detain General Aidid for investigation of the 5 June attack and of the public incitement of such attacks. General Aidid would be treated "decently, fairly and with justice", the Special Representative said. However, efforts to capture General Aidid proved unsuccessful, and attacks on UNOSOM II by his militia continued.
The Secretary-General reported to the Security Council that the short-sighted attitude of leaders of a few factions aggravated the already difficult situation. The ambushing of UNOSOM II personnel on 5 June and on subsequent occasions left UNOSOM II with no choice but to take forceful action to effect the disarming required by all Somali factions under the Addis Ababa agreement. The Secretary-General again asserted that effective disarmament of all the factions and warlords was a precondition for implementing other aspects of UNOSOM's mandate, be they political, civil, humanitarian, rehabilitation or reconstruction. He said that Somalia would not enjoy stability until criminal elements were apprehended and brought to justice as demanded by Security Council resolution 837 (1993).
On 22 September 1993, the Security Council, in resolution 865 (1993), reaffirmed the importance it attached to the successful fulfillment, on an urgent and accelerated basis, of UNOSOM II's objectives -- facilitation of humanitarian assistance and the restoration of law and order and of national reconciliation in a free, democratic and sovereign Somalia -- so that the mission could be completed by March 1995. In that context, the Council requested the Secretary-General to direct urgent preparation of a detailed concerted strategy with regard to UNOSOM II's humanitarian, political and security activities. The Security Council also approved the Secretary-General's recommendations relating to the re-establishment of the Somali police, judicial and penal systems.
3 October Incidents
After the June 1993 events, UNOSOM II pursued a coercive disarmament programme in south Mogadishu. Active patrolling, weapons confiscations and operations were directed at the militia and depots of General Aidid's faction (USC/SNA). A public information campaign was instituted to explain these activities to the population. Concurrently, UNOSOM II encouraged "cooperative" or voluntary disarmament by the Somali factions. UNOSOM II also continued its efforts to apprehend those responsible for instigating and committing armed attacks against United Nations personnel.
In support of the UNOSOM II mandate, United States forces -- the United States Rangers and the Quick Reaction Force -- were deployed in Mogadishu. These forces were not under United Nations command and control. As part of the coercive programme, the Rangers launched an operation in south Mogadishu on 3 October 1993, aimed at capturing a number of key aides of General Aidid who were suspected of complicity in the 5 June attack, as well as subsequent attacks on United Nations personnel and facilities. The operation succeeded in apprehending 24 suspects, including two key aides to General Aidid. During the course of the operation, two United States helicopters were shot down by Somali militiamen using automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. While evacuating the 24 USC/SNA detainees, the Rangers came under concentrated fire. Eighteen United States soldiers lost their lives and 75 were wounded. One United States helicopter pilot was captured and subsequently released on 14 October 1993. The bodies of the United States soldiers were subjected to public acts of outrage, and the scenes were broadcast by television stations around the world.
Following these events, the United States reinforced its Quick Reaction Force with a joint task force consisting of air, naval and ground forces equipped with M1A1 tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles. At the same time, United States President William Clinton announced the intention of his country to withdraw its forces from Somalia by 31 March 1994.
On 9 October 1993, USC/SNA declared a unilateral cessation of hostilities against UNOSOM II forces. After this declaration the situation was generally quiet, but Mogadishu remained tense and, in the capital and elsewhere, major factions were reportedly rearming, in apparent anticipation of renewed fighting.
Secretary-General Reviews Situation
The Secretary-General travelled to the Horn of Africa in October 1993 to consult with the leaders of the region on the future of UNOSOM II and on a concerted strategy for humanitarian, political and security activities. He met with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, President Hassan Gouled of Djibouti, President Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya and President Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. He also visited Baidoa and Mogadishu, where he met with military and civilian officials of UNOSOM II as well as with Somali elders, and attended a meeting convened in Cairo by President Mubarak, then OAU Chairman, attended by the Secretaries-General of OAU, LAS and OIC.
After his return to New York, the Secretary-General addressed a letter to the Security Council on 28 October 1993, asking for an interim extension of the UNOSOM II mandate, which was to expire on 31 October. This was to allow time for further consultations aimed at preparing a detailed report. The Security Council, by its resolution 878 (1993) of 29 October, extended the UNOSOM II mandate until 18 November 1993.
On 12 November 1993, the Secretary-General reviewed for the Security Council the priorities of the United Nations role in Somalia -- the highest of which was humanitarian relief. He pointed to the dramatic and visible success that had been achieved in reducing starvation deaths and conditions of famine in the country. Significant improvements had also been made in the fields of public health, education, agriculture and other areas. Some 32 hospitals were operating throughout the country by November 1993, as well as 81 maternal and child health centres. One hundred and three mobile vaccination teams were covering the country, working towards sustainable immunization coverage. It was estimated that about 75 per cent of children under 5 years of age had received vaccination against measles. Medicines, supplies, and other equipment were being made available to hospitals, health centres and pharmacies through United Nations agencies and NGOs.
City water-supply systems in a number of cities, including Mogadishu, were rehabilitated. United Nations agencies and NGOs were continuing to pursue sanitation and employment projects with food-for-work programmes. In Mogadishu alone, there were 120 such projects that provided food for teachers and hospitals. Similar projects were supported throughout Somalia. United Nations agencies and NGOs were also assisting in re-opening schools, supplying school lunches, providing education kits, textbooks and incentives to teachers.
In the agricultural sector, which had provided two thirds of Somalia's pre-war employment and nearly three quarters of the country's foreign exchange earnings, the food production and livestock sectors had been revived. The United Nations system had provided seeds and agricultural tools, and with the end of the drought, it had been possible to raise food production significantly. In the livestock sector, the supply of veterinary drugs and the vaccination of animals facilitated the resuscitation of exports.
Commercial and trading activities were also showing encouraging signs of recovery. Commercial traffic at Somalia's ports had increased dramatically since December 1992. Civilian ship movements at Mogadishu port increased tenfold in the first half of 1993. Joint ventures between Somali and foreign investors were on the rise. Telecommunication services became available in parts of Mogadishu. Local companies were also providing fuel throughout the country.
At the request of UNOSOM II, a draft framework for planning of long-term reconstruction and recovery had been prepared by a task force comprising donors, United Nations agencies and NGOs, under the coordination of the World Bank. The objectives of the framework were to: (a) establish a common vision of the economic and social reconstruction, rehabilitation and development of Somalia; (b) identify criteria and establish priorities for reconstruction and rehabilitation; (c) construct a mechanism for coordinated action in an environment of constrained human and capital resources. An informal meeting of donors, United Nations agencies and NGOs in Paris, the third in a series organized by the World Bank, reviewed the draft framework and discussed the implementation of the programme on 22 October 1993.
By November 1993, of some 1.7 million people displaced as a result of the turmoil and the famine in Somalia, more than 1 million had crossed into Kenya and Ethiopia. Over 250,000 persons moved to Mogadishu, and about 60,000 persons to Kismayo and Baidoa. The northern regions were supporting at least 250,000 refugees and internally displaced persons. The number of refugees returning from camps in Kenya was increasing. It was estimated that about 70,000 refugees in the Mombasa area had returned by boat to Kismayo, Mogadishu and Bossasso. Assistance was being provided to approximately 800 refugees a week returning to the Gedo region and to those spontaneously moving into the Lower and Middle Juba areas.
The Secretary-General told the Council that his Special Representative and staff were continuing efforts to rebuild political institutions in Somalia. Thirty-nine district councils, considered to be a foundation for civil government, had been established. In Mogadishu, consultations had begun on the establishment of district councils. Efforts were continuing to expedite the formation of regional councils, the next layer of political reconstruction. By November 1993, regional councils had been established in six areas.
UNOSOM II continued to attach high priority to the national reconciliation process in Somalia. In this regard, it undertook to resolve conflicts at the regional level and to assist in reconciliation among the Somali people. A regional peace conference convened in Kismayo, one of the most conflict-ridden areas of the country, brought together 152 elders from throughout the Juba region; on 6 August 1993, they signed the Jubaland peace agreement, committing the more than 20 clans in the region. A series of similar reconciliation meetings were held in other regions of Somalia.
In the north-east and central regions, from Bossasso to Galkayo, the Deputy Special Representative and UNOSOM II political affairs officers facilitated the reconciliation of the leadership of two competing wings of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF). There was also a reconciliation of clans in the north-west, in Erigavo, and in the Gedo region. In Mogadishu, several meetings were held between UNOSOM II officials and a 47-member supreme committee of the Hawiye sub-clan. From 30 September to 1 October 1993, an all-Somali conference attended by 600 delegates was supported by UNOSOM II. Another pan-Hawiye conference took place in Mogadishu from 14 to 16 October 1993 with the participation of Habr Gedir sub-clan (to which General Aidid belonged).
The Secretary-General also told the Council that UNOSOM II was continuing to support small locally based police forces in its areas of operations as a step towards establishing a neutral and professional Somali police force. Since May 1993, 5,000 former Somali policemen had been hired to assist in the performance of police functions. UNOSOM II was finalizing a basic police training programme for Somali policemen. Meanwhile, a number of States pledged contributions for various programmes to re-establish the Somali judicial and penal systems. Some countries provided police advisers or trainers.
In order to investigate violations of international humanitarian law, UNOSOM II was planning to establish an Office of Human Rights. A team of international specialists, in cooperation with Somali police, were to investigate violations such as mass murder of Somali citizens and attacks and threats made against international assistance workers and UNOSOM II personnel.
Despite the progress achieved in many areas, however, the Secretary-General stressed that UNOSOM II was at a critical juncture, as the situation in Somalia was continuously evolving. There was still no effectively functioning government, no disciplined national armed force, and no organized civilian police force or judiciary, although impressive progress had been achieved in initiating the recreation of the police and judiciary.
UNOSOM II's record of general progress throughout most of Somalia was seriously marred by the incidents that had taken place between 5 June and 3 October 1993. Those incidents challenged the cause of disarmament and reconciliation in Somalia, created a situation of instability in south Mogadishu, and stimulated factional elements elsewhere to prepare for a future of renewed fighting. The Secretary-General reiterated his firm belief that without effective disarmament of all the factions and warlords in Somalia it would not be possible for the country to enjoy lasting peace and stability.
Voluntary disarmament had nevertheless succeeded to some extent both during UNITAF and in the early weeks of UNOSOM II. It was only after 5 June 1993 that it became necessary for UNOSOM II to resort to coercive methods. The situation in Somalia, he observed, would continue to remain complex and complicated for the foreseeable future, and the Security Council would have to display flexibility as well as firmness in any decision that it would take while renewing the mandate of UNOSOM II.
In presenting his recommendations on a renewed mandate for UNOSOM II, the Secretary-General pointed out that, following the events of 3 October 1993, the United States had announced its intention to withdraw all its combat troops and the bulk of its logistics support troops by 31 March 1994. He stressed that the troop-contributing countries could not be expected to maintain their generosity forever, nor could Member States be expected to maintain funding on the present scale. The Governments of Belgium, France and Sweden had earlier announced their decisions to withdraw their contingents from UNOSOM II. The Secretary-General wrote to 42 Member States inviting them to contribute, or to increase their contribution, in terms of troops and logistics support.
In light of the changing circumstances, the Secretary-General went on to present three options for the Security Council to consider in re-examining the mandate of UNOSOM II. In the first option, the mandate of UNOSOM II, as laid down by the Security Council in its resolutions 814 (1993), 837 (1993), 865 (1993) and 878 (1993), would remain essentially unchanged. UNOSOM II would not take the initiative to resort systematically to coercive methods to enforce disarmament. It was hoped that all factions, including USC/SNA, would cooperate to ensure peaceful conditions. In Mogadishu, USC/SNA would have to remove its roadblocks and strong points so that UNOSOM II could escort humanitarian convoys. Should these expectations not be met, UNOSOM II should retain the capability for coercive disarmament and retaliation against attacks on its personnel. UNOSOM II would also pursue its plans to re-establish an impartial and professional Somali police force and judicial system. The objective would be to create and maintain secure conditions for humanitarian assistance, foster national reconciliation and implement other parts of the existing mandate.
Under this option, UNOSOM II would need the reauthorization of its troop strength, as well as the deployment of an additional brigade. In addition, the Member States should fulfil their financial obligations, promptly and in full, of approximately $1billion annually.
In the second option, the Security Council would decide that UNOSOM II would not use coercive methods anywhere in the country, rely on the cooperation of the Somali parties in discharging its mandate and use force only in self-defence. Disarmament would be entirely voluntary. Under this option, UNOSOM II would have to retain some capability to defend its personnel should inter-clan fighting resume. The emphasis would be on ensuring the unimpeded flow of humanitarian assistance, the rehabilitation of the Somali infrastructure, the repatriation of refugees, political reconciliation, the reorganization of the Somali police and judicial system and keeping secure the main supply routes between Mogadishu and outside areas.
The troop requirement under this option would be approximately 16,000 all ranks, with one brigade deployed in Mogadishu, one assigned to convoy duty and one for the security of refugees and of critical areas in need of assistance. A Force Logistics Supply Command of about 2,500 all ranks would also be needed. The financial requirements for this option would be considerably less than the first option.
Under the third option, UNOSOM II would be limited to keeping secure the airport and port in Mogadishu, as well as important ports and airports in other parts of the country, to maintain open supply routes for humanitarian purposes. It would assist in the delivery of humanitarian aid, help development agencies and programmes, and continue training a Somali police force. That option would presuppose cooperation of local authorities and would focus on the regions, rather than on Mogadishu. It would call for the deployment of about 5,000 all ranks and a financial requirement substantially less than the other two options.
The Secretary-General further noted that, in the mean time, UNOSOM II troop strength was adequate for the present purpose. UNOSOM II would not use coercive methods to ensure a secure environment which, by and large, was lacking mainly in south Mogadishu. UNOSOM II would continue its efforts to initiate a political dialogue with all the factions, including USC/SNA. In this, UNOSOM II would seek and welcome support from Somalia's neighbours, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya, and from OAU, LAS and OIC. At the same time, UNOSOM II would stand ready to protect its own personnel as well as the personnel of other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. UNOSOM II might also have to be prepared to use force to keep open the lines of communication and supply routes in Mogadishu and elsewhere.
Commission of Inquiry
On 16 November 1993, the Security Council adopted resolution 885 (1993) authorizing a Commission of Inquiry, in further implementation of its resolutions 814 (1993) and 837 (1993), to investigate armed attacks on UNOSOM II personnel which led to casualties among them. The Secretary-General recommended a three-member Commission of Inquiry comprised of the Honourable Matthew S.W. Ngulube, the Chief Justice of Zambia (Chairman), General Emmanuel Erskine (Ret.) of Ghana and General Gustav Hagglund of Finland. Mr. Winston Tubman of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs and former Minister of Justice of Liberia was designated as Executive Secretary of the Commission.
In accordance with the decision of the Council, pending the completion of the report of the Commission, UNOSOM II suspended arrest actions against those suspected, and, by the end of November 1993, all but eight of those arrested and detained following the June 1993 incidents were released. Like most of the others, these were officials of General Aidid's faction. On 17 January 1994, the last eight detainees were released. The Secretary-General ordered their release after receiving a report from Mr. Enoch Dumbutshena, the independent jurist and former Chief Justice of Zimbabwe, who had been asked to review the cases of the detainees. Also, from 13 to 16 January, a Hirab Peace Conference was held. The Habr Gedir and Abgal sub-clans concluded a peace agreement at the Conference. Although neither Mr. Ali Mahdi nor General Aidid attended that meeting, it was considered to be a development conducive to reconciliation between the two sub-clans to which they belonged.
In renewing the mandate of UNOSOM II for a period of six months to 31 May 1994, the Security Council, on 18 November 1993, decided in resolution 886 (1993) that it would fundamentally review that mandate by 1 February 1994. It asked for a report from the Secretary-General on or before 15 January on the progress made by the Somali people towards national reconciliation. The Council further requested the Secretary-General to supply, as part of his report, an updated plan for UNOSOM II's future humanitarian, political and security strategies.
Affirming that the Addis Ababa agreements of 8 January and 27 March 1993 had established a sound basis for resolving the problems in Somalia, the Council reminded all the parties that continued United Nations involvement in Somalia depended on their active cooperation and tangible progress towards a political settlement. The Council expressed concern at the destabilizing effects of cross-border arms flows in the region and called for the cessation of such flows and reaffirmed the obligation of all States to fully implement the embargo on weapons and military equipment to Somalia. In addition, the Council condemned the continued armed attacks against persons engaged in humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts and paid tribute to those troops and humanitarian personnel who had been killed or injured while serving in Somalia.
To facilitate the Council's fundamental review of the UNOSOM II mandate, the Secretary-General submitted a comprehensive report on 6 January 1994. He pointed to two primary obstacles on the political level: (1) deep divisions between the two main factional alliances, the Group of 12 supporting Mr. Ali Mahdi and SNA led by General Aidid; (2) the continued rejection by USC/SNA of all political initiatives undertaken by UNOSOM II.
From 2 to 11 December 1993, at the invitation of the Ethiopian Government and with the support of UNOSOM II, representatives of the two main alliances, the Group of 12 and SNA, met to discuss outstanding matters and disputes between them. Despite warnings from the international community that failure to achieve progress on the political front could drive away the needed international assistance, the factional representatives failed to agree on a structure for face-to-face talks between their leaders.
There were also sharp differences of opinion between the Group of 12 and SNA on a number of other key issues, including the status of the district and regional councils, and SNA's suggestion that the Addis Ababa agreement be revised. Moreover, SNA continued to insist that the United Nations had no role to play in political reconciliation in Somalia, preferring this to be done by regional Powers, while the Group of 12 held the view that UNOSOM II should remain in Somalia and that the United Nations must play a key role in the Somali political process.
The Secretary-General saw support of national reconciliation as a key task of UNOSOM II. Simultaneously, it would continue to convey the message to Somali factional leaders that the international community was not prepared to wait indefinitely for an improved security environment in which to work on behalf of the Somali people.
Fourteen additional district councils had been certified during November and December 1993, bringing the total to 52 out of 81 districts (excluding the north-west). A primary obstacle to the effective establishment of district councils in Somalia had been the opposition of SNA, which had refused to participate in the process and had in some instances attempted to block their formation through intimidation or the creation of shadow SNA district councils. Eight regional councils had been formed. In all 13 were needed, excluding the north-west. With the exception of the SNA factions, participants in the Addis Ababa political meetings had expressed a strong intention to work towards the rapid establishment of TNC. At that time, UNOSOM II had received nine nominations for representatives from the 15 political factions, each of which might nominate one representative to TNC. In addition, regional councils, to nominate three representatives each, began deliberations for the selection of their representatives to TNC.
UNITAF/UNOSOM II had re-established 107 police stations in Somalia's districts. Nationally, there were 6,737 policemen at the regional and district levels, 311 judicial personnel in 8 regions and 26 districts, and over 700 prison officers in two regions. It was also planned to put in place a Somali police rapid deployment force, known as Darawishta, by March 1994. The re-establishment of police forces and justice systems was particularly important in the north-east, where no United Nations military forces had been deployed.
UNOSOM II had renewed its effort to place humanitarian programmes at the forefront of its work in Somalia. However, despite successful efforts to end famine in the country, there were indications that malnutrition levels were on the rise again in parts of Somalia, including Mogadishu and the Juba valley, two areas of ongoing conflict and insecurity. Consequently, the Division for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of UNOSOM II, United Nations agencies and NGOs had stepped up efforts to provide emergency food relief and medical treatment to the affected population.
Although resettlement programmes were slowed by insecurity in parts of Somalia, UNOSOM II continued to cooperate with UNHCR and other agencies to facilitate the safe and orderly return of Somali refugees and internally displaced persons. Particularly successful resettlement projects were undertaken in the Juba valley, where, since October 1993, over 3,000 persons had returned from camps in Kenya, and from those in Kismayo and Mogadishu.
The Fourth Coordination Meeting on Humanitarian Assistance for Somalia was held at Addis Ababa from 29 November to 1 December 1993. Representatives from Somali regions, political movements and the international donor community reaffirmed their commitment to accelerate Somali control of the rehabilitation and development process. In the Declaration of the meeting, the participants reaffirmed the commitment of the international community to provide unconditionally essential emergency assistance to vulnerable groups. Assistance would be provided in those areas where stability and security had been attained. The Declaration called for Somali initiatives in establishing viable civil institutions and appropriate mechanisms to facilitate the reconstruction and recovery of Somalia. The Somali representatives committed themselves to establish preconditions to end insecurity, and the donor community agreed to support fully mechanisms established to determine rehabilitation priorities, funding modalities and implementation and to develop a common approach among themselves for the allocation of resources. For its part, UNOSOM committed itself to work with all concerned agencies and organizations to strengthen coordination of all aspects of the United Nations efforts throughout Somalia C humanitarian, political and peacekeeping.
The Declaration called for an aid coordination body composed of representatives of donors, United Nations agencies and programmes, NGOs and other multilateral and regional institutions and organizations. Technical support for the regional committees would be provided by the United Nations Office of Development, under the umbrella of the Humanitarian Division of UNOSOM II. The Office would also serve as secretariat for the development council and for the aid coordinating body. The participants agreed that the Declaration should be translated into a plan of action.
As for the security situation, banditry continued to plague parts of the countryside, and there were outbreaks of localized inter-clan fighting. A number of incidents involving threats and actual attacks against international agencies in outlying regions forced several NGOs to temporarily suspend their operations. In Mogadishu itself, while direct armed confrontation between USC/SNA and UNOSOM II forces had been avoided, armed banditry grew considerably, making movement for Somali commercial traffic, UNOSOM personnel and international humanitarian relief supplies increasingly dangerous. Security for international staff remained a troublesome issue. In a number of separate incidents, casualties were suffered by UNOSOM civilian and NGO staff, both international and local, on the streets of Mogadishu. As a result, there was a significant reduction in the presence of international NGOs willing to work in such an environment.
The Secretary-General reaffirmed that general disarmament was a prerequisite for the establishment of the peaceful and secure environment. However, despite UNOSOM II efforts to promote voluntary disarmament by the Somali parties, there were growing indications that the major factions were actively rearming in anticipation of renewed hostilities in the coming months. The Secretary-General appealed to the parties to commit themselves once again to the disarmament process agreed upon at Addis Ababa and to work constructively with UNOSOM II in order to determine how to implement these commitments.
Progress notwithstanding, the Secretary-General concluded that the mandate of UNOSOM II was far from being achieved. Only when the Addis Ababa agreement of March 1993 was fully implemented, culminating in the holding of general elections and the installation of a popularly elected Government could that mandate be considered fully implemented. A spirit of cooperation, compromise and commitment on the part of the Somali people and the continued involvement of the international community were needed to reach that goal.
Without the continued stabilizing presence of an adequate United Nations force, there would be an early resumption of civil strife and an unravelling of all that had been achieved, the Secretary-General said. The peace-building process, therefore, would depend on the willingness of United Nations Member States to see the Somalia operation to its successful conclusion. He was doubtful that UNOSOM II would have the required level of resources after 31 March 1994, when the military strength would be reduced to 19,700. Although the Secretary-General had approached a large number of United Nations Member States for contributions to UNOSOM II's military component, not a single positive response had been received. Another important question was the availability of timely and adequate financing for UNOSOM II operations.
The Secretary-General recalled that, in his 12 November 1993 report, he had outlined three options relating to the mandate and functioning of UNOSOM II. The first option, which he preferred, had to be excluded because of the inadequacy of human, material and financial resources. He therefore recommended the second option for consideration by the Security Council. Under it, UNOSOM II would not use coercive methods but would rely on the cooperation of the Somali parties. In the event that inter-clan fighting resumed in different parts of the country, UNOSOM II, while not becoming involved in the fighting, would retain some capability to defend its personnel. UNOSOM II would protect the important ports and airports in the country as well as the essential infrastructure of Somalia; keep open the main supply routes between Mogadishu and outlying areas; pursue as a matter of utmost priority the reorganization of the Somali police and judicial systems; and help with the repatriation of refugees. UNOSOM II would also continue its efforts to provide emergency humanitarian relief supplies to all in need throughout the country.
UNOSOM II would continue to coordinate rehabilitation and development activities so as to assist international programmes of assistance in areas of their choice. The Secretary-General recalled that the donor community had made it clear at the Fourth Humanitarian Conference in Addis Ababa that aid would go only to those regions where security prevailed and where counterpart Somali institutions were available. As for the political processes in Somalia, UNOSOM II would continue to play a role as desired by the Somali people.
By its resolution 897 (1994) of 4 February 1994, the Security Council approved the Secretary-General's recommendation for the continuation of UNOSOM II, with a mandate to: assist the Somali parties in implementing the Addis Ababa Agreements, particularly in their cooperative disarmament and ceasefire efforts; protect major ports, airports and essential infrastructure; provide humanitarian relief to all in need throughout the country; assist the reorganization of the Somali police and judicial system; help repatriate and resettle refugees and displaced people; assist the political process in Somalia; and protect the personnel, installations and equipment of the United Nations and its agencies as well as of NGOs providing humanitarian and reconstruction assistance. The Council authorized a gradual reduction of UNOSOM II to a force level of 22,000. It underlined the vital importance of providing UNOSOM II with the material means and military assets needed for discharging its responsibilities and defending its personnel. It encouraged Member States to contribute urgently troops, civilian personnel, equipment, financial and logistical support to the Operation.
Expressing serious concern at reports of a rearming and troop build-up by Somali factions, the Council called upon all parties to cooperate fully with UNOSOM II and respect all ceasefire arrangements and other commitments. It demanded that the parties refrain from acts of intimidation or violence against humanitarian or peacekeeping personnel. The Council approved the direction of international reconstruction resources first to those regions of the country where security was being re-established. Resources would also be directed to local Somali institutions ready to cooperate with the international community in setting development priorities as contained in the Declaration of the Fourth Humanitarian Conference in Addis Ababa.
The Council requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with OAU and LAS, to consider establishing contacts with Somali parties to agree on a timetable for implementing the Addis Ababa Agreements. The objective would be to complete the process by March 1995. The Secretary-General was also asked to report back as soon as the situation warranted, and in any case before 31 May 1994.
The inaugural meeting of the Somali Aid Coordination Body (SACB), whose membership included major bilateral and multilateral donors, United Nations agencies and non-governmental groups, was held in Nairobi on 1 and 2 February 1994. Formed in response to the call by the Fourth Humanitarian Conference on Somalia, SACB was mandated to identify means of involving Somalis and their organizations in its efforts. At the meeting, SACB endorsed the Plan of Action, prepared as a follow-up to the Conference, which reconfirmed that international rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance would be provided to areas of Somalia able to achieve sufficient levels of peace and security to allow long-term donor involvement.
In view of the long-term nature of reconstruction and development programmes, the Secretary-General approved the transfer of the Development Office from UNOSOM II to a UNDP project on 15 March 1994. The Development Office would function as an integral component of United Nations activities in Somalia and in that context would cooperate closely with UNOSOM II.
Upon completion by Admiral Howe of his year-long assignment as Special Representative, the Secretary-General appointed Deputy Special Representative Kouyaté as Acting Special Representative in February 1994. Mr. Kouyaté then began efforts to ease the relationship between UNOSOM II and SNA, and to help the Somali faction leaders in restoring dialogue and personal relationships among themselves. To those ends, he held a series of informal consultations on the overall political and security situation in Somalia with leaders of Somali political factions. In March, he convened a meeting in Nairobi to deal with the situation in Kismayo, where inter-clan fighting had continued since early February 1994. The occasion also provided an opportunity to reactivate the political process in Somalia. On 17 March 1994, Mr. Ali Mahdi of the Somali Salvation Alliance (SSA) and General Aidid, leader of SNA, met in Nairobi, under the auspices of the Acting Special Representative. It was the first meeting of the two political leaders since December 1992.
On 24 March, after a series of intensive consultations in Nairobi, Mr. Ali Mahdi and General Aidid signed, respectively for the Group of 12 and SNA, a declaration on national reconciliation. The Somali faction leaders repudiated any form of violence as a means of resolving conflicts and committed themselves to implement a ceasefire and voluntary disarmament. They also agreed to restore peace throughout Somalia, giving priority wherever conflicts existed. It was agreed that in order to restore the sovereignty of the Somali State, a National Reconciliation Conference would be convened on 15 May 1994 to elect a President and Vice-Presidents, and to appoint a Prime Minister. The Somali factions which had signed the March 1993 Addis Ababa Peace Agreement and the Somali National Movement (SNM) would meet on 15 April 1994 in Mogadishu to prepare for the Conference. They would also discuss the establishment of a Legislative Assembly after the formation of a national Government. The Secretary- General welcomed the signing of the Nairobi Declaration and congratulated Somali political leaders for showing wisdom and political maturity during the negotiations. However, the ongoing factional disputes and conflicts and disagreements concerning modalities led to repeated postponements of the preparatory meeting for the National Reconciliation Conference.
On 27 March, the parties directly involved in the conflict in Kismayo C the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) and SNA C signed an agreement calling for a ceasefire as of 27 March and a Lower Juba Reconciliation Conference to be convened on 8 April 1994 in Kismayo. The parties also agreed to appoint a committee to work out the details of its agenda. The Lower Juba Reconciliation Conference, after considerable delays, was held from 24 May to 19 June 1994 at Kismayo. It resulted in the signing of a nine-point agreement including a general ceasefire to take effect in the region on 24 June 1994. On 19 June, General Mohamed Said Hersi "Morgan" (SPM) and Mr. Osman Atto (SNA) C the leaders of the two dominant factions in the area C signed a statement pledging the support of their factions for implementation of the Agreement.
Extension of Mandate
Reporting to the Security Council on 24 May 1994, the Secretary-General provided a negative assessment of the political and security situations. He nevertheless believed that "the Somali people deserve a last chance". But that must be firmly tied to evidence of serious and productive pursuit of the reconciliation process, strict observance of the ceasefire and cooperation with UNOSOM II in preventing the recurrence of clashes and resolving local clan and factional conflicts. He based his recommendation that the Security Council extend UNOSOM II's mandate for a six-month period on the assumption that the Somali leaders would prove able and willing to pursue the path to political reconciliation. Should that not be the case, he stated that he would not rule out recommending that the Council consider the withdrawal of UNOSOM II in part or in full.
The Security Council, by resolution 923 (1994) of 31 May 1994, renewed the mandate of UNOSOM II until 30 September 1994, subject to a review no later than 29 July, after which the Council might request the Secretary-General to prepare options regarding UNOSOM's mandate and future operations. The Council demanded that all parties in Somalia refrain from any acts of intimidation or violence against personnel engaged in humanitarian or peacekeeping work in the country.
In June and July, the security situation was marred by clashes among clans and sub-clans, especially in Mogadishu, and by a further increase in banditry. The recurring outbreaks of inter-clan fighting brought all humanitarian activities in Mogadishu and its immediate vicinity to a near-standstill for several weeks. There were further attacks against UNOSOM II personnel resulting in a number of fatal casualties.
UNOSOM II focused on consolidating activities both inside Mogadishu and in outlying areas by securing key installations and facilities, maintaining its presence along key routes and within areas of responsibility through patrolling, and providing security for humanitarian aid convoys. In addition, it intensified its work related to the training of local police personnel. As of 8 July 1994, police recruits totalled 7,869, and 96 of the 125 police stations had become operational. The mission also continued its work in the judicial, correctional, juvenile justice, crime prevention and human rights fields. As at 10 July, the force strength of UNOSOM II was 18,790.
There was some progress in overcoming the emergency humanitarian situation and moving into the recovery phase because the situation of the most vulnerable improved, particularly of women and children. The outbreak of a cholera epidemic in February 1994 created an unexpected health emergency. Under the auspices of UNOSOM II, a Cholera Task Force was quickly established to coordinate the efforts to contain the epidemic. Responses to new outbreaks were prompt, resulting in a low fatality rate. There were, at the same time, several important setbacks, which included the interruption, for security reasons, of WFP activities in Kismayo, as well as those of UNHCR in Afmadu and Buale and of the non-governmental Save the Children Fund in Mogadishu.
There was no progress on national reconciliation. The National Reconciliation Conference and its preparatory meeting were repeatedly postponed, new subgroups of factions emerged and there was no clear reconciliation process. The Secretary-General expressed the view to the Security Council that some leaders did not yet seem ready to subordinate their personal ambitions for power to the cause of peace and stability in Somalia. There was, in fact, little or no reason to believe that the target of completing the national reconciliation process by March 1995 could be achieved.
From 1 July 1994, the Secretary-General appointed Mr. James Victor Gbeho (Ghana) as Special Representative. He then asked the Special Representative to prepare an in-depth assessment of the prospects for national reconciliation in Somalia. He informed the Security Council that he had decided to undertake a comprehensive review of the current troop strength of UNOSOM II. He also told the Council that he intended to dispatch a special mission to discuss with the Special Representative and the Force Commander the feasibility of a reduction in the troop level currently deployed. The views of the humanitarian agencies and the non-governmental organizations would also be taken into account.
National Reconciliation Prospects
On 17 August, the Secretary-General reported to the Security Council that conflicts within the dominant Hawiye clan, to which both Mr. Ali Mahdi and General Aidid belonged, constituted the major obstacle to national reconciliation. No meaningful progress could be made in the political process without first finding a solution to the conflict among the Hawiye sub-clans (Habr Gedir, Abgal, Hawadle and Murosade). The root causes of dissension and tension among the 15 factions were also by and large attributable to rivalries within the Hawiye clan. Those rivalries had precipitated the crisis in Mogadishu and its environs in 1991 and were the main cause of the resumption of fighting since June 1994.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General believed that if Hawiye reconciliation could be attained and the differences between Mr. Ali Mahdi and General Aidid resolved, the prospects for national reconciliation and the establishment of a national government would be significantly improved. Both General Aidid and Mr. Ali Mahdi had expressed their willingness to participate in a Hawiye reconciliation conference with the cooperation of other concerned factions and political leaders. The Special Representative thought that with the cooperation of the parties concerned and the support of the international community, the reconciliation of the Hawiye should be achieved in good time to create a favourable climate for the convening of a conference on national reconciliation and the establishment of an interim government in the last quarter of 1994. That would leave three months for consolidating agreed transitional arrangements for the interim government before the scheduled completion of the mission of UNOSOM II at the end of March 1995.
The Secretary-General said that he was inclined to agree with the Special Representative's assessment. Although there were no clear signs that the parties were preparing for a Hawiye conference, he nevertheless instructed the Special Representative to provide all possible support to the efforts deployed by the parties concerned to convene such a conference.
UNOSOM II Downsized
The special mission sent by the Secretary-General visited Somalia from 28 July to 4 August 1994. It found that the Special Representative and the Force Commander were in consensus on reducing the number of troops to about 17,200 all ranks by the end of September 1994. The authorized strength of UNOSOM II was then 22,000 all ranks and the actual strength on 2 August was 18,761. The special mission recommended that any further reductions should be carefully decided and take into account evolving circumstances. A troop level of approximately 15,000 represented the critical minimum below which the mandated tasks could not be implemented. The gradual reduction to the level of 15,000 could be achieved by the end of October or during November 1994.
On 25 August, the Security Council expressed grave concern at the deteriorating security situation in Somalia and deplored attacks and harassment directed against UNOSOM II and other international personnel. The Council was also concerned by the lack of progress towards reconciliation among Somali factions. It attached great importance to accelerated inter-clan reconciliation, in particular among the Hawiye sub-clans, with the involvement of all concerned.
The Council agreed with the Secretary-General's proposed initial reduction, and stressed that priority attention should be given to ensuring the security of UNOSOM II and other international personnel, including the staff of NGOs. It invited the Secretary-General to submit, well before 30 September 1994, a report on prospects for national reconciliation in Somalia and on the possible options for the future of UNOSOM II.
In the following weeks, Special Representative Gbeho conducted intensive consultations with Mr. Ali Mahdi, General Aidid and the Imam of Hirab (who had also been attempting to mediate between the two). The Imam of Hirab advised the Special Representative that it would be necessary to arrange separate meetings between the Habr Gedir and the other sub-clans before proceeding to a plenary session of the Hawiye peace conference. Several such meetings were convened with some positive results.
The Secretary-General informed the Security Council on 17 September that because of the deteriorating security situation, the UNOSOM Force Commander had been forced to begin concentrating troops in four key areas. By doing that, he hoped to prevent a repetition of the kind of incident that occurred in Belet Weyne on 29 July 1994 when a small UNOSOM contingent was overrun by a strong militia force. As a result of the concentration of forces and the reduction process, troops had been withdrawn from Bardera, Hoddur, Wajid and Balad. It was expected that by the end of October, UNOSOM II would be concentrated mainly in three locations: the Mogadishu area, Baidoa and Kismayo.
In the Secretary-General's view, the end of September would be a crucial period for both the national reconciliation process and the continued involvement of the United Nations in Somalia. He expected to be in a position by mid-October to submit to the Council his assessment of the prospects for national reconciliation and recommendations for the future of the United Nations operation in Somalia. In the mean time, he recommended that the Council consider extending the mandate of UNOSOM II for a period of one month.
On 30 September, the Security Council, by resolution 946 (1994), extended the mandate of UNOSOM II until 31 October 1994. It also encouraged the Secretary-General to continue with and intensify preparations for possible contingency arrangements, including the withdrawal of UNOSOM II within a specified time-frame.
Secretary-General Takes Stock
The then Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Kofi Annan, visited Mogadishu in preparation for the report the Secretary-General submitted to the Security Council on 14 October. In that report, the Secretary-General said that the process of national reconciliation had not kept pace with achievements in the humanitarian area. Security had been progressively deteriorating, especially in Mogadishu, and the Somali leaders had not carried out commitments entered into under the Addis Ababa Agreement and the Nairobi Declaration. UNOSOM's goal of assisting the process of political reconciliation was becoming ever more elusive, while the burden and cost of maintaining a high troop level was proving increasingly difficult for Member States to justify.
The protracted political impasse, the Secretary-General continued, had created a vacuum of civil authority and of governmental structure in Somalia, leaving the United Nations with no function to build on. The presence of UNOSOM II troops had limited impact on the peace process and on security in the face of continuing inter-clan fighting and banditry. If the Council maintained its previous decision to end the Mission in March 1995 and to withdraw all UNOSOM II forces and assets, time would be required to ensure that the withdrawal took place in a secure, orderly and expeditious manner. This might take as long as 120 days. Extensive air and sea support from Member States might also be required.
In the light of those considerations, the Secretary-General recommended that the Security Council extend the Mission's mandate until 31 March 1995. He believed that the five-month extension would give the Somali leaders time to begin consolidating any positive achievements which might arise from the ongoing process of political reconciliation. Accordingly, the Secretary-General instructed his Special Representative to maintain his efforts to help the Somali leaders achieve national reconciliation.
The Secretary-General noted that the humanitarian organizations were committed to continuing their work in Somalia, but they could only go on doing so in a secure environment. Somali leaders would bear the ultimate responsibility for the safety of international and national relief personnel and their assets.
In the Secretary-General's view, only the Somalis themselves could establish a viable and acceptable peace. The international community could only help in that process. Such assistance, however, could not be sustained indefinitely. The withdrawal of UNOSOM II would not mean United Nations abandonment of Somalia. Should the Somali leaders succeed in creating and maintaining favourable security conditions, the United Nations and the international community could continue to play a role in the country's rehabilitation and reconstruction. The United Nations could also retain a certain presence after the withdrawal of UNOSOM II to continue assisting the Somali political organizations and factions in the process of national reconciliation. However, the Secretary-General warned that the feasibility of international assistance of this kind would be very much dependent on the degree of security prevailing in the country.
Security Council Mission
In resolution 946 (1994) of 30 September 1994, the Security Council had declared its readiness to consider sending a mission to Somalia to convey directly to the Somali political parties the Council's views on the situation, and on the future of the United Nations involvement. On 20 October, during informal consultations, the Council decided to send such a mission to Somalia. The seven-member mission, headed by Ambassador Colin Keating, Permanent Representative of New Zealand, visited Somalia from 26 to 27 October. In addition to United Nations officials there, it met with Somali faction leaders, representatives of United Nations agencies and NGOs operating in Somalia.
The mission concluded that 31 March 1995 was the appropriate date for the end of the mandate of UNOSOM II. None of the Somali factions had requested a longer extension; nor did the humanitarian agencies or NGOs. On 31 October, the Security Council extended the mandate of UNOSOM II, which was expiring on that day, for an interim period until 4 November 1994, to allow time to complete the review of the mandate of UNOSOM II and decide on its future.
Final Extension of Mandate
On 4 November 1994, the Security Council, by resolution 954 (1994), decided to extend the mandate of UNOSOM II for a final period until 31 March 1995. It affirmed that the primary purpose of UNOSOM II until its termination was to facilitate political reconciliation in Somalia. The Council decided that every effort should be made to withdraw the UNOSOM II military force and assets from Somalia in a secure and orderly manner. To that end it authorized UNOSOM II to take the actions necessary to protect the withdrawal. It also requested Member States to assist with the withdrawal of the Operation. The Council demanded that the Somali parties refrain from any acts of intimidation or violence against UNOSOM II and other personnel engaged in humanitarian activities. It also urged them to negotiate an effective ceasefire and the formation of a transitional government of national unity.
On 10 November 1994, the Secretary-General drew attention to a statement issued by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a body established by the General Assembly in 1991 and comprised of the heads of United Nations operational agencies, ICRC, the International Organization of Migration, the International Federation of the Red Cross, and the representatives of three international non-governmental organizations. IASC reaffirmed the commitment of the humanitarian agencies of the United Nations to continue emergency and rehabilitation activities in Somalia to the maximum extent possible after the withdrawal of UNOSOM II. To that end, IASC decided to adopt a common and coordinated approach to retain or replace the essential programme support and operational services formerly provided by UNOSOM II and to develop a common framework of action with the full support of all operational partners.
IASC proposed the creation of a United Nations Coordination Team of senior representatives of organizations active in Somalia, to be chaired by the Resident Coordinator of UNDP (who served also as the Humanitarian Coordinator). IASC urged the Security Council to support the process of transition from UNOSOM-protected humanitarian activities to those following UNOSOM II's withdrawal. Specifically, IASC asked that the Security Council consider: (1) establishing protected humanitarian operational bases at essential ports and airports; (2) authorizing the transfer of UNOSOM II equipment and assets to operational United Nations organizations and international NGOs; and (3) making UNOSOM II humanitarian and security staff available to the new coordination arrangement. The United Nations organizations also urged that security arrangements in the postBUNOSOM period be funded from a special allocation so as to prevent the diversion of voluntary funds for humanitarian activities.
The Council took note of the IASC statement on 7 December 1994 and welcomed the commitment of the agencies to continue emergency and rehabilitation activities in post-UNOSOM Somalia. The Council encouraged the Secretary-General to play a facilitating or mediating political role in Somalia after March 1995 if the parties to the conflict in Somalia were willing to cooperate with the United Nations and if this was the wish of the Somali people.
Following the Security Council's decision to end UNOSOM's mandate on 31 March 1995, the rival factions in Mogadishu began to work together. On 19 February 1995, Mr. Ali Mahdi and Mr. Osman Ali Atto, a high-ranking official of SNA, had a meeting that led to significant political developments during the last two weeks of UNOSOM II's withdrawal. On 21 February 1995, a peace agreement was signed by General Aidid and Mr. Ali Mahdi on behalf of SNA and SSA respectively to promote national reconciliation and a peaceful settlement. In that agreement, the two sides accepted the principle of power-sharing. They pledged not to seek the presidency through military means but through democratic elections, agreed to the resolution of disputes through dialogue and peaceful means and agreed on a common platform for tackling problems. The Agreement also included provisions for the confinement of "technicals" to designated areas and discouraged the open carrying of arms in the streets of Mogadishu. In addition, it called for the removal of roadblocks and the reopening of the main markets.
On 23 February, the two sides reached agreement on the establishment of two joint committees to manage the operations of the airport and seaport. Endorsed by Mr. Ali Mahdi and General Aidid, the agreement provided for cooperation of the rival factions with the United Nations system. On 8 March, the two leaders initialled yet another agreement, this one on security arrangements. A security committee was set up to ensure the exclusion of unauthorized "technicals" from the airport and seaport and ensure security within those facilities. Joint militias with specially marked "technicals" were set up to secure the outer perimeters as well as the delivery routes in use from and to the ports. The seaport was opened for commercial traffic under the administration of the joint committee on 9 March.
The initial phase of withdrawal of UNOSOM II forces entailed redeploying troops to Mogadishu from Baidoa, Baledogle, Afgoye and Kismayo. The pull-back from Kismayo was supported by an Indian naval task force, comprising two frigates, one logistic ship and six helicopters. Between 28 December 1994 and 5 January 1995, the Zimbabwean and Malaysian contingents were repatriated. The personnel of the Pakistani hospital were repatriated on 11 January 1995. Headquarters staff were reduced by 50 per cent by 15 January 1995 and relocated from the Embassy compound to the Mogadishu airport.
By 2 February 1995, with the repatriation of the Indian, Zimbabwean and Malaysian contingents, some headquarters personnel and those of the Pakistani hospital, UNOSOM II troop strength was reduced to 7,956, comprising Pakistani, Egyptian and Bangladeshi contingents and the remaining headquarters personnel. As the withdrawal accelerated, military support provided by UNOSOM troops to United Nations agencies, human rights organizations and NGOs still engaged in humanitarian activities was greatly reduced. With the major reductions starting in mid-February, it was no longer possible for UNOSOM II troops to extend the necessary protection even within Mogadishu. Agencies were then advised to evacuate their international staff to Nairobi by 14 February 1995.
After a final review of preparations by Under-Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who visited Somalia from 8 to 10 February, the final phase of withdrawal got under way. Support was provided by a combined task force, known as "United Shield", composed of forces from France, India, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States, under Lieutenant-General Anthony Zinni of the United States. From 12 to 15 February approximately 1,750 Pakistani personnel left Mogadishu, followed by 1,160 members of the Egyptian brigade who were repatriated from 17 to 20 February. An additional 2,600 men from the Pakistani contingent were taken out between 23 and 27 February, leaving a rearguard of 2,500 Pakistani and Bangladeshi military personnel and UNOSOM headquarters staff.
Mogadishu seaport was handed over to the combined task force and closed to commercial traffic on 28 February. The Secretary-General's Special Representative, his staff and the UNOSOM Force Commander left Mogadishu by air on 28 February. The withdrawal of the UNOSOM II rearguard was completed on 2 March, with the combined task force providing cover. Among the last to leave were 25 United Nations civilian personnel and 11 contractual logistic staff, accompanied by one representative of a shipping company, who had stayed after the withdrawal of all other international staff on 28 February in order to supervise the shipment of the last consignment of UNOSOM II material. The personnel of the combined task force, who had come ashore on 28 February, also withdrew on 3 March, concluding the operation without casualties.
The withdrawal of
UNOSOM II marked a point of transition in the efforts of the United Nations
to assist a
Another element of the United Nations achievement in Somalia was the long-term effect of two major conferences. The first was the National Reconciliation Conference in March 1993, which produced the Addis Ababa Agreement. The second was the "consultation" of all the factions in Nairobi in March 1994. The significant representation of the civil society of Somalia at the Addis Ababa conference (where more than 250 representatives of community organizations, elders, scholars, as well as women's groups, were present), and the substantial number of elders at the Nairobi meetings, signalled an unprecedented broadening of political participation. Although the implementation of agreements reached at those meetings was forestalled by subsequent developments, the agreements continued to serve as the major frame of reference in the political life of Somalia.
Success was greatest in the humanitarian field. The operational arms of the United Nations system, in particular UNICEF, WFP, UNDP and UNESCO, worked with a host of governmental and non-governmental agencies to meet the vast humanitarian challenge. Millions of Somalis benefited from these activities and, at a minimum, an estimated quarter of a million lives were saved. Despite the withdrawal of the United Nations peacekeeping force, the agencies and programmes of the United Nations system continued to be involved in humanitarian and development-related work in Somalia. The expectation was that this work would take place for the foreseeable future in a context of political unrest and against a background of uncertainty. Furthermore, in the absence of national institutions capable of coping even with minor emergencies, Somalia would remain vulnerable to future disasters.
There were also achievements in terms of reviving the Somali police: some 8,000 were deployed in 82 district stations. By March 1995, there were 46 district courts, 11 regional courts and 11 appeals courts, all functioning because the United Nations had helped with funds, training and rebuilding of infrastructure.
Reporting to the Security Council on 28 March 1995, the Secretary-General emphasized that the Council had been prepared to pursue its peacekeeping efforts as long as it felt that the United Nations presence was receiving the cooperation of the Somali factions. However, over the preceding few months, it had been concluded that the United Nations presence in Somalia was no longer promoting national reconciliation. Agreements reached under United Nations auspices unravelled and security continued to deteriorate, especially in Mogadishu. United Nations peacekeepers and humanitarian convoys were threatened and, in a number of instances, viciously attacked. The Somali leaders did not heed repeated warnings that if they did not show a minimum of political will the United Nations presence would have to be reconsidered. In these circumstances, continuation of UNOSOM II could no longer be justified.
In the Secretary-General's view, the experience of UNOSOM II had confirmed the validity of the point that the Security Council had consistently stressed in its resolutions on Somalia, namely that the responsibility for political compromise and national reconciliation must be borne by the leaders and people concerned. It was they who bore the main responsibility for creating the political and security conditions in which peacemaking and peacekeeping could be effective. The international community could only facilitate, prod, encourage and assist. It could neither impose peace nor coerce unwilling parties into accepting it.
The Secretary-General observed that there were important lessons to be learned about the "theory and practice of multifunctional peacekeeping operations in conditions of civil war and chaos and especially about the clear line that needs to be drawn between peacekeeping and enforcement action". The world had changed and so had the nature of the conflict situations which the United Nations was asked to deal with. There was a need for careful and creative rethinking about peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building in the context of the Somali operation.
The withdrawal of UNOSOM II did not mean that the United Nations was abandoning Somalia. The United Nations agencies and organizations, as well as NGOs, were determined to continue humanitarian operations in Somalia. In the post-UNOSOM II era, their focus would be on rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction, without prejudice to emergency relief where that was necessary.
The experience of UNOSOM II, the Secretary-General continued, had demonstrated the vital link between humanitarian assistance and assistance in achieving national reconciliation. The former was geared towards the immediate amelioration of emergency situations, while the latter was necessary to ensure stability in the long term so that the positive results of humanitarian assistance could be preserved and a recurrence of the tragedy avoided. He stressed that he would continue to make available his good offices to assist the Somali factions to arrive at a political settlement and would maintain a political presence in the area for that purpose. Its location should be in Mogadishu but this would depend on security considerations. In the mean time, the Secretary-General's Special Representative would remain in Nairobi in order to monitor the situation in Somalia and coordinate United Nations humanitarian activities there.
For its part, the Security Council underlined that the timely intervention of UNOSOM II and the humanitarian assistance given to Somalia had helped to save many lives and much property, mitigate general suffering and contributed to the search for peace in Somalia. However, "the continuing lack of progress in the peace process and in national reconciliation, in particular the lack of sufficient cooperation from the Somali parties over security issues, undermined the United Nations objectives in Somalia and prevented the continuation of UNOSOM II mandate beyond 31 March 1995". The Council reaffirmed that the people of Somalia bore the ultimate responsibility for achieving national reconciliation and restoring peace to Somalia. The international community could only facilitate, encourage and assist the process, but not try to impose any particular solution on it. The Council, therefore, called upon the Somali parties to pursue national reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction in the interest of peace, security and development.
The Security Council supported the view of the Secretary-General that Somalia should not be abandoned by the United Nations and stated that the Organization would continue to assist the Somali people to achieve a political settlement and to provide humanitarian and other support services, "provided that the Somalis themselves demonstrate a disposition to peaceful resolution of the conflict and to cooperation with the international community". It welcomed the Secretary-General's intention to continue a small political mission, should the Somali parties so wish, to assist them in national reconciliation. The Council expressed its appreciation to those Governments and agencies that had provided the personnel, humanitarian assistance and other support to the peacekeeping operation in Somalia, including those Governments which had participated in the multinational operation for UNOSOM's withdrawal.
The Council reaffirmed the obligations of States to implement fully the embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Somalia imposed by its resolution 733 (1992), and called on States, especially neighbouring States, to refrain from actions capable of exacerbating the conflict in Somalia.
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