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Disarming Somalia: the contrasting fortunes of United States and Australian peacekeepers during United Nations intervention, 1992-1993.

In 1992, constant civil war and drought in Somalia had combined to produce a catastrophic famine killing an estimated 300,000 people.(1) Unable to ameliorate these conditions through UNOSOM I, a humanitarian assistance mission, the United Nations opted for direct intervention. This consisted of two phases: UNITAF, a US-led humanitarian intervention with limited enforcement duties; and UNOSOM II, a UN-led humanitarian operation with extensive enforcement functions. Disarmament, which is understood here as a process involving the reduction, removal or elimination of the means of violence, was not specifically written into UNITAF's mandate although the country was awash with vast amounts of weaponry at the time.(2) The effects of this omission became clear in Mogadishu when UNOSOM II's belated programme of disarmament encountered the armed resistance of General Aideed's faction in June 1993. This confrontation eventually ended the UN's experiment in peace-enforcement and led to the humiliating withdrawal of UN troops and personnel from Somalia on 2 March 1995. But the demise of the UN's first peace enforcement operation in a failed state was by no means inevitable. In Baidoa, the Australian contingent in the international coalition achieved a remarkable transformation in the security environment. It involved, amongst other things, a policy of active disarmament.

UN intervention: a mandate to disarm or not to disarm?

Despite the prolonged dissolution of the Somali state, the international response to the suffering it occasioned was initially slow and ineffective. With the heroic exception of the Red Cross and a number of non-government relief organizations, Somalia was virtually abandoned in 1991 by the international community. Moreover, when the UN Security Council finally addressed the Somali conflict in early 1992, the Organization made only slow progress. Having brokered a shaky cease-fire in March, the Security Council passed Resolution 751 approving the deployment of 500 Pakistani UN troops to provide security for relief operations in Mogadishu. But the mission, designated UNOSOM I, took four months to obtain the grudging consent of General Aideed for deployment and then faced impotence once deployed.(3) Restrained by very limited rules of engagement, the lightly-armed Pakistanis were powerless to stop the looting or secure the peace.

Unable to reverse the trend of starvation and disorder in Somalia, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the new UN Secretary General, concluded that the UN's policy in Somalia had become `untenable'.(4) He believed there was little alternative but to adopt more forceful measures to protect humanitarian operations. On 24 November 1992, the Bush administration informed Boutros-Ghali that the US was prepared to lead a multilateral enforcement operation in Somalia. During subsequent negotiations it became plain that the US was not proposing to establish a UN protectorate in Somalia and that any American troops deployed there would remain under US command. While voicing some reservations about these conditions, Boutros-Ghali accepted the US offer. On 3 December, the Security Council unanimously endorsed the US initiative. Resolution 794 recognised that the `human tragedy caused by the conflict' in Somalia constituted `a threat to international peace' and resolved `to restore peace, stability and law and order with a view to facilitating the process of a political settlement . . . in Somalia'.(5) As a consequence, Resolution 794 authorized the US-led Unified Task Force (UNITAF) to use `all necessary means to establish as soon as possible a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations'.(6) Unrestrained by the need for consent from the parties to the Somali conflict, UNITAF troops were permitted under common rules of engagement the possible use of deadly force, including `pre-emptive action', beyond simple self-defence to accomplish the humanitarian mission. But this was unchartered territory for the UN. The UN Charter made no provision how to deal with `failed states'.(7)

Within a week of launching Operation Restore Hope, the US and the UN publicly clashed over whether the mandate for the operation included the disarming of Somali militias. Presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said `disarmament was not a stated part of our mission and that has not changed'.(8) According to US special envoy to Somalia, Robert Oakley, Security Council Resolution 794 was `a clearly defined mission, which is to establish security conditions in Somalia to provide for the uninterrupted flow of relief supplies. It does not include disarmament'.(9) He was supported by US commander of UNITAF, Lieutenant General Robert Johnston who said: `People will need to change the terms of my mission before I get into a wholesale disarmament'.(10)

The UN, however, took a much broader interpretation of the mandate. In the view of the UN Secretary-General and other senior officials `secure environment' was inconceivable without disarmament.(11) Indeed, Boutros-Ghali believed he had a private understanding on this matter with the Bush administration. But the Bush administration denied this. The UN wanted UNITAF to use its overwhelming military advantage to create an environment that would be both conducive to humanitarian operations and the process of national reconciliation before it handed over the operation to the UN. Without substantial disarmament, the UN leadership believed that inherent financial and logistical constraints would make the organization acutely vulnerable to the armed menace of the bandits and organized factions in the follow-up peacekeeping operation.(12) In other words, Boutros-Ghali feared that if the gangs and factions were not disarmed, much of the humanitarian work during Operation Restore Hope would be wasted in what would basically become a Band-aid exercise.

The dispute between the US and the UN centred on what constituted a secure environment in Somalia. Political rather than strictly security considerations shaped the American position. A number of factors were involved. First, Washington made a firm distinction between humanitarian and strategic intervention.(13) Because Somalia was deemed to belong to the former category, the Bush administration seemed anxious to adhere to the norm of non-interference in domestic affairs. Underlying this was a tacit recognition that ultimately civil wars are about the distribution of power and that disarming would by definition involve the US in the Somali political process. That entailed a long term commitment. Second, the US feared that systematic disarmament in Somalia could involve significant casualties. As one senior US officer put it: `If we go out and try to physically disarm people who don't want to be disarmed, we're talking about going to war against all the factions in Somalia'.(14) Third, the Americans were wary of the complexity of the security environment in stateless Somalia. A large part of the population was armed. Guns were an ever-present feature of Somali life and carrying them in public was commonplace. In these circumstances, according to Lawrence Eagleburger, the US Secretary of State, it was `impossible to imagine' that US-led forces could ever totally disarm Somalia.(15) Furthermore, how could UNITAF troops distinguish between Somali gun-holders who were militia members, outlaws or those who simply had weapons for self-defence? Fourth, a policy of active disarmament would have been potentially expensive. The US was probably keen to keep its phase of the UN operation limited because it was paying the cost of about $30 million a day to keep the troops in Somalia.(16) If disarmament was pursued in a purposeful fashion, that figure would have risen sharply. Seen from the White House, these factors indicated that the political consensus supporting Operation Restore Hope could collapse if active disarmament became a major goal in Somalia.(17)

Cosmetic disarmament in Mogadishu

Guide by a narrow interpretation of the UN mandate, UNITAF adopted a consensual approach to security in Mogadishu. Two days after the launch of the US-led intervention on 11 December 1992, Robert Oakley, US Special Envoy to Somalia, secured a fresh ceasefire agreement between the two main protagonists in Mogadishu, Ali Mahdi and General Aideed.(18) Despite the veneer of agreement, this seven-point ceasefire brokered by Oakley represented little substantive progress. Many of the points had in fact been agreed at various times during the previous nine months. The major novel element, the removal of technicals from Mogadishu to designated areas outside the city, was essentially a concession to the new military realities of the US presence in the city. Moreover, Oakley's immediate dialogue with two of the key warlords shocked and dismayed many Somalis and foreign aid workers. The warlords were widely seen as war criminals who had plunged Somalia into chaos and famine. Instead of arresting the warlords, the US treated them as legitimate political players at a time when they were on the backfoot and their authority was ebbing.(19) Thereafter, the UN's freedom of action in searching for a political solution was severely circumscribed by the involvement of the faction leaders.

On 4 January 1993, the UN Secretary General, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, opened a peace conference of 14 Somali faction leaders in Addis Ababa. Eventually, formal cease-fire and disarmament agreements were signed on 8 and 15 January respectively. Under the accords, the factions agreed to draw up a national charter and discuss forming a new interim government at a reconciliation conference in Addis Ababa on 15 March. It was also agreed that UNITAF/UNOSOM I immediately establish a cease-fire monitoring group comprising representatives from the Somali factions. The monitoring group would take possession of heavy weapons under the control of these movements until `a legitimate Somali government can take them over'.(20) Other points in the agreement included the encampment of militias, the registration of all weapons belonging to civilians and the return of all property unlawfully taken during previous hostilities.(21)

Notwithstanding these solemn agreements, very little progress was made in implementing them. While the ceasefire monitoring group identified a number of Authorized Weapons Storage Areas (AWSSs) where the factions agreed to deposit some of their tanks, armoured personnel carriers and technical vehicles, many of these heavy weapons were moved out of Mogadishu even before UNITAF arrived in Somalia.(22) At the same time, the warlords were unwilling or unable to comply with the agreement that their armed followers register their weapons with the UNITAF authorities for eventual disarmament. Because the warlords benefited financially from the criminal activities of their supporters, they had little incentive to order the registration of machine-guns, especially as it might involve a test of their leadership control.(23) Consequently, many Somalis in Mogadishu remained armed.

The initial American focus on voluntary disarmament in Mogadishu brought several small-scale weapons incentive programmes to the fore. Variations of the `food for guns' and `cash for guns' concepts were considered. In January 1993, UNITAF Marine Forces (MARFOR) began giving a receipt for weapons surrendered or for information on where to find weapons.(24) These receipts could then be exchanged for food provided by the humanitarian relief organizations. This scheme was largely concentrated in a sector of northern Mogadishu under the sway of Ali Mabdi. Italian troops organized a similar programme in the same area in March 1993 25 In both instances, however, the impact was very limited. Not only was the general food situation beginning to improve in early 1993, but many Somalis believed they would risk their lives surrendering their weapons in what was still an insecure environment. Consequently, the number of weapons surrendered was modest and invariably consisted of poor quality or aging arms.

The proposal to pay for weapons turned in was also reviewed. Citing the Panama example of 1989 where 4,000 weapons were recovered at a cost of about 5800,000, Dick Cheney, the US Secretary of Defence, expressed early optimism that such a scheme could be just as effective in Mogadishu.(26) But this view soon gave way to a recognition that the Somali arms problem did not bear any meaningful comparison. At the beginning of US/UN intervention, something like one in ten Somalis in Mogadishu carried arms. One estimate put the total number of small arms in Mogadishu above 100,000.(27) Given the large quantity of weapons, any `weapons for cash' plan in Mogadishu faced enormous difficulties. For one thing, it would have been prohibitively expensive. Although the price of AK-47s plunged at the beginning of the international intervention, prices soon recovered and rose in line with increased demand in January 1993.(28) So unless UNITAF was prepared to pay the market price, there was little incentive for gunmen to give up their quality arms. A weapons for cash programme also ran the risk of boosting the already thriving arms trade in East Africa. By late January 1993, the US finally abandoned the idea of weapons incentive programmes in Mogadishu.(29)

The meagre results of voluntary disarmament coincided with a steady deterioration in Mogadishu's security situation. After an initial lull in hostilities, fighting between rival militias escalated from mid-December. The visit of President Bush to the city over the New Year was marked by sustained artillery, mortar and machine-gun exchanges just three miles north-east of the American embassy.(30) By 10 January, Mogadishu was gripped by the worst violence since the March 1992 ceasefire. Some estimates put the death toll as high as 300.(31) However, UNITAF did not intervene. US military spokesmen dismissed such fighting as `internal' Somali incidents outside the scope of the UN mandate.(32) UNITAF's seeming neutrality on intra-Somali conflict did not insulate it from violence. In early January 1993, 200 supporters of General Aideed stoned the UN headquarters in Mogadishu, and forced the UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to cut short his visit to the Somali capital.(33) By late February, US troops shot dead at least three Somalis and fought running battles with thousands of rioters after General Aideed publicly accused the US of favouring a rival warlord, Siad Hersi Morgan, in Kismayo.(34)

Mogadishu also fell victim to a soaring crime rate. Once it became clear to bandits they could keep their guns if they did not directly threaten UNITAF's operations, armed robbery and extortion took off.(35) Relief aid workers and foreign journalists became favourite targets as the gunmen resumed control of large areas of the city. The subsequent upsurge of attacks persuaded prominent aid organizations like the Save the Children Fund to continue spending nearly $10,000 per week hiring local gunmen to provide `security'.(36) Such spending reflected what was seen as an ambiguous UNITAF commitment to relief agency security. In early March, when a group of Aideed's followers attempted extortion operations against the Mogadishu offices of CARE and the World Food Programme, no attempt was made to arrest the culprits.(37) The point was not lost on the gunmen themselves. Commenting on the US marine presence in Mogadishu one gunman observed: `They're not troubling us. We do what we like'.(38)

The deteriorating security situation eventually jolted the UNITAR forces in January 1993 into periodic weapon searches and confiscations that were independent of the disarmament agreements signed by the warring factions.(39) But these did not form part of a comprehensive disarmament plan nor were they considered by the US as a central feature of the UN mandate. The aforementioned split between the US and UN over the role of disarmament in the mission was compounded by divisions within the US political and military establishment. Amid some disquiet in the Pentagon about participating in an operation defined in humanitarian terms by the White House, senior US officials in the early stages of the intervention issued conflicting statements about whether US troops would be used to disarm gunmen.(40)

The absence of a clear US vision on disarmament and open differences with the UN predictably muddled policy in Mogadishu. Three episodes highlighted this within the first week of Operation Restore Hope. First, US marines discovered a large arms cache in a building owned by Osman Ato, General Aideed's financier and close aide, but were instructed not to remove the guns or their owners.(41) Second, US marines confiscated weapons from gunmen only to discover that a batch of 20 AK-47 machine-guns were subsequently returned to faction leader, General Aideed.(42) Third, when French legionnaires seized weapons from some Somalis at road checkpoints they were rebuked by the Americans for exceeding the UN mandate and obliged to give them back to their owners.(43) Yet, US Cobra helicopters took pre-emptive action to destroy a number of `technicals' apparently threatening UNITAF. The discrepancy between the wide latitude given to UNITAF troops in the rules of engagement and the US refusal to embark on systematic searches for weapons left some senior US marines struggling to make sense of the weapons policy.(44)

Despite the uncertainties generated by an `arms control' approach, UNITAF could not remain totally indifferent to worsening security in Mogadishu. In late December 1992, on the eve of a visit by President Bush, US forces seized arms, missiles and battle wagons in north-west Mogadishu and the contents of a smaller arsenal from a building opposite the US embassy compound in south Mogadishu.(45) On 7 and 8 January 1993, US marines stormed weapons compounds belonging to General Aideed. Tanks, anti-aircraft guns, mortars and battle wagons were seized. UNITAF forces then turned their attention to the so called Argentine arms market located in Ali Mahdi's domain in north Mogadishu. This raid led to the confiscation of a tank, two armoured personnel carriers, `technical' battle wagons, 250 rifles and machine guns, as well as mortars, rockets and shells.(46) Perhaps the most spectacular arms seizure occurred on 11 January 1993 when 900 US marines occupied Mogadishu's main arms market at Bakara and confiscated five truckloads of arms and ammunition.(47)

If anxiety about security prompted ad hoc disarmament, it also led to a belated UNITAF concern with law and order. Until mid-January 1993 the US Special Envoy to Somalia, Robert Oakley, said that the creation of local police forces was not on UNITAF's agenda. Nevertheless, increasing attacks against US Marines in Mogadishu galvanised UNITAF into supporting efforts by a joint committee, established after the ceasefire of 11 December 1992, to form a police constabulary in Mogadishu. On 6 February, a Somali police force consisting of more than 2,000 members began operations in the Somali capital for the first time in two years.(48) A judicial committee was also formed, with an equal number of magistrates and judges named by the Aideed and Ali Mahdi factions. But these efforts did little to restore the rule of law. The legal process was fundamentally compromised by the involvement of appointees from the two warring factions. Neither group would permit the arrest of its own members.(49)

The penchant for quick-fix solutions to Somalia's security problems reflected UNITAF's determination to withdraw from Somalia and hand over responsibility to the United Nations. President Bush even spoke about getting out of Somalia by 20 January 1993. While that timetable did not eventuate, Bush's successor, Bill Clinton, also shared the view that the US should not stay any longer than absolutely necessary. Thus, despite four days of riots and gun battles in Mogadishu in late February, the US military announced it was pressing ahead with plans to withdraw 3,000 troops from Somalia.(50) According to General Robert Johnston, UNITAF had accomplished its mission: `We reversed a devastating famine and now it is safe to walk the streets. We have given Mogadishu and the towns back to the Somalis.(51) UNITAF's intervention, it was claimed had saved something like 250,000 Somalis from starvation,(52) but senior UN officials, including Boutros-Ghali, denied American claims that the US-led force had created a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

It was in this context that the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 814 on 26 March 1993, expanding the size and mandate of UNOSOM to include not only the protection of humanitarian relief supplies and personnel but also to compel the Somali militias to disarm. Unlike UNITAF, whose involvement in the disarmament process was secondary and derived from the ceasefire and disarmament agreements of January 1993, the new UN mission--UNOSOM II--was mandated to disarm Somali militias under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter to create conditions for a political settlement.(53) With the expansion of the UN mandate, pressure on the Somali factions increased. A UN sponsored Conference of National Reconciliation was held in March 1993. After 13 days bargaining, the 15 faction leaders signed a peace accord on 27 March which committed the parties to `complete' disarmament within 90 days.(54) The agreement called on the multi-national forces to apply `strong and effective sanctions' against violators of the cease-fire. The Conference also agreed to set up a Transitional National Council (TNC) as the country's supreme authority during what was seen as a two-year transition to democratic government. But the warlords had little intention of implementing the Addis Ababa accords. After the adjournment of the UN-sponsored conference, the warlords signed a second document in Addis Ababa which went against the letter and spirit of the agreements of 27 March.(55)

On 4 May 1993, UNOSOM II formally took over from UNITAF. From the outset, the hastily-assembled UNOSOM II force was overstretched. The initial complement of 16,000 UN troops, drawn from a large number of countries, struggled to fill the vacuum left by the 37,000 strong UNITAF force.(56) Although desperately short of operational hardware such as armoured personnel carriers (APCs),(57) UNOSOM II was expected to disarm the warlord militias and take charge of the 60 percent of Somali territory previously outside international control. Not surprisingly, the resolve of the new UN force was soon put to the test. On 5 June 1993, 24 Pakistani peacekeepers were brutally killed during pre-arranged weapons verification inspection visits to some of Aideed's authorized weapon storage sites (AWSS) in south Mogadishu.

In many ways, the attack on the Pakistani peacekeepers was a `shoot-out waiting to happen'.(58) Because UNITAF allowed many Somali gunmen to keep their arms, it was almost inevitable that the most formidable faction led by General Aideed would resist a visibly weakened UN presence. Aideed understood that UNOSOM II's new mandate was a direct challenge to a power base built on the arms of his followers. The 5 June incident exposed the danger of relying on the hope that international intervention would somehow convert warlords like Aideed into consensus oriented politicians. The rest of the operation became a grim end game. The UN launched a manhunt for Aideed and tried to forcibly disarm his militia. But the window of opportunity for disarmament had long since closed. The ensuing bloody confrontation in Mogadishu effectively ended the peace-enforcement mission.

Active disarmament in Baidoa

In contrast to the American predicament in Mogadishu, the Australian contribution to the UNITAF operation was widely seen as a UN success story.(59) On 17 January 1993, the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) took control of the Baidoa Humanitarian Relief Sector (HRS) from 700 US Marines and 142 French Legionnaires.(60) Until the arrival of these troops on 16 December 1992, Baidoa was known as the `City of Death' because after Mogadishu it was the area worst affected by civil war and famine. Geographically, Baidoa HRS covered an area of nearly 17,000 square kilometres in central Somalia and comprised a total population of about 180,000.(61) Baidoa was the major population centre in the HRS with 50-600,000 inhabitants, including 20,000 refugees. The Australian deployment, known as Operation Solace, lasted for just 17 weeks but managed to create a stable situation in Baidoa where relief agencies could freely operate and fulfil their work.

While Australia did not have a history of close ties with Somalia, several factors prompted a positive response in mid-December 1992 to an US request for assistance there. First, the Keating government believed it was important to reinforce old ties with the US during the uncertainties of the post-Cold War era. Linked by the ANZUS Treaty and the ABCA (America-Britain-Canada-Australia) cross servicing arrangements, Canberra perceived that the inter-operability of Australian and US forces would minimize the operational risks of deployment under the leadership of the US Commander, Lieutenant General Robert Johnston.(62) Second, the Somali situation seemed almost an ideal testing ground for part of Australia's Operational Deployment Force (ODF). For five months prior to the Somali deployment, 1 RAR underwent intensive training in services protected evacuation exercises in northern Australia. These involved a strong emphasis on civil-military relations in conditions which bore a certain resemblance to the terrain in Somalia.(63) Third, there was a moral imperative to assist the UN-sanctioned operation in Somalia. Like other peoples, Australians were deeply moved by the haunting television images of famine and death in that country.

Whatever the calculations, the immediate security challenge facing the Australians in Baidoa was formidable. In many ways, the situation there followed the Mogadishu pattern. The arrival of US and French troops in Baidoa at the outset of UNITAF initially had a calming effect. Quite a few heavy weapons, including `technicals' were neutralized and many gunmen either buried their weapons or simply moved out. But by mid-January 1993, the gunmen began to re-assert themselves again. The US Marines became the target of Somali ambushes and hit-and-run shootings in Baidoa. On 12 January, one US Marine was killed and another seriously wounded in separate incidents.(64) In retaliation for casualties taken, the Marines assaulted several towns and villages in the Baidoa HRS. This heavy-handed response served only to increase tensions. On 14 January, a Marine patrol was stoned by a group of Somali youths. A day later, the first contingent of Australian troops to arrive at Baidoa was fired on at the airport.(65)

At the same time, humanitarian non-government organizations (NGOs) were subjected to criminal harassment. Food and equipment were frequently stolen from NGO compounds. Relations between the aid agencies and the US military became very strained. The NGOs, which paid enormous amounts to hired gunman for `protection' against looters, were told they would not get US security for their compounds or staff unless they requested it.(66) From the NGOs standpoint, `the interest which the US Marines and the French troops displayed in their own security . . . often compromised the protection provided to the NGOs in Baidoa'.(67) On 15 January, a Swiss NGO employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross was murdered and robbed. Three of the six gunmen involved in the attack were Red Cross employees. This incident and the looting of a Medicines San Frontiers compound convinced many in the NGO community that it was impossible for US marines to stop such activity by `hiding behind sandbags at a heavily protected airport' or `riding around in a jeep'.(68) For aid workers like Lockton Morrissey of CARE Australia it was clear what needed to be done: `There is no way that the [Baidoa] operation could be successful in the long term unless the guns are taken out of circulation'.(69) And the NGOs made it clear to Australian military officials that if there was not an improvement in Baidoa's security situation they would all pack up and leave town.(70)

Conscious that Operation Solace would fail unless a more secure environment was created, Colonel David Hurley, Commander of 1 RAR, developed a robust but clear-cut strategy. He donned the mantle of `military governor' of the Baidoa HRS and positioned the Australians above the armed clansmen in a counter-insurgency style operation. It involved the `aggressive' protection of humanitarian work and the `domination' of the HRS through the use of static security positions, patrolling and on-call quick reaction forces.(71) In part, this approach reflected a range of combat capabilities and integral administrative support that allowed the Australian contingent to operate in a virtually autonomous role within the UNITAF framework. But it was also grounded in a hardheaded assessment of the major Somali players on the ground. According to Australian military officials, Somali warlords and gunmen `only respected the realities of power' and were quick to exploit perceived weakness.(72) In such a `dog-eat-dog' environment, it was deemed psychologically important for Australian troops to call the bluff of Somali gunmen in any challenge to ensure local respect for the Australian presence. Failure to do so, it was believed, would produce an irreparable `loss of confidence' in the operation.(73) In an early show of strength, the Australians engaged in a number of fire-fights with Somali gunmen. Overall, the Australians faced 11 major contacts. Five Somalis were killed and at least six were wounded. One Australian was killed.(74)

Disarmament was in effect part and parcel of the Australian strategy. Unlike the US, Canberra adopted a broad interpretation of Security Council Resolution 794 mandating the creation of a secure environment for the provision of humanitarian assistance. It was recognised that under US military leadership there was no requirement to take guns and weapons from the Somali population. But while the Australian government openly acknowledged the potential risks to troops involved in active disarmament, it clearly indicated that it supported the UN's stand on the issue. `We believe that for there to be an effective long-term solution to Somalia we will have to disarm the people', said a spokesman for Australian Defence Minister, Senator Robert Ray, `and if we go ahead with disarmament . . . the risk factor will be high to very high'.(75) But, as Australia saw it, the worst risk at this time was not to take any risk at all. Certainly, the Rules of Engagement (ROE) under which UNITAF troops operated in Somalia were considered sufficient in scope to permit the application of force in certain situations beyond simple self-defence. Devised by the Americans and accepted by all coalition participants, following some minor, mainly grammatical changes, the ROE authorised UNITAF troops to use `all necessary force' against hostile acts or hostile intent involving `crew served weapons' or `armed individuals'.(76) In this context UNITAF Commander Lieutenant General Robert Johnston on 8 January 1993 issued a policy directive on weapons confiscation.(77) The directive allowed UNITAF Commanders in each HRS to confiscate weapons as and when the need arose. So Colonel David Hurley felt free to undertake `offensive' measures including forcible disarmament to protect humanitarian relief work in Baidoa.(78)

From an early stage in Operation Solace the Australians served notice that arms could not be tolerated on the streets. Much of the heavy weaponry such as `technicals' had been previously eliminated by the US Marines and French Legionnaires. However, the Australians introduced a system of weapons registration. Under this scheme, Somalis working for the NGOs and performing other essential tasks in the HRS could retain their registered weapons. But all other unauthorized weapons in the township were confiscated on sight and destroyed. The purpose of the registration was to strengthen NGO protection by differentiating between those Somalis supporting humanitarian activities and those engaged in faction fighting or banditry.(79) Disarmament, though, was linked and indeed reinforced by a multi-faceted peace-enforcement operation. Four tactical aspects stood out. First, the Australians guaranteed the distribution of humanitarian relief in the Baidoa HRS through escorting food convoys. By the end of Operation Solace, the battalion group had escorted a total of over 400 convoys carrying more than 8,000 tonnes of grain to more than 130 locations.(80) Second, the Australians provided security in the Baidoa township by maintaining a constant and visible presence. In response to the NGO's dire need for protection, Australian troops occupied the compounds and other facilities of these humanitarian organizations.(81) Third, relentless patrolling was sustained throughout Operation Solace. Conducted by foot and Armoured Personnel Carriers, these around-the-clock patrols concentrated on the Baidoa township but also covered adjacent rural areas. This presence on the ground was seen by the Australians as the `bread and butter' of the peace operation.(82) It kept armed factions and bandits off-balance and facilitated the enforcement of weapons reduction whether through house-to-house searches, counter-ambush actions, pursuit after contact, and cordon and search activities. Altogether, the Australians confiscated over 1,000 weapons during their stay in Baidoa. That constituted a sizeable proportion of the 2,250 small arms and heavy weapons seized by UNITAF forces as a whole during the first 90 days of the multi-lateral intervention.(83)

Another important aspect of operations in the Baidoa HRS concerned civil-military relations. The civil military operations team (CMOT) was, according to Colonel David Hurley, `one of the keys to the success of Operations Solace'.(84) Its role was to provide an interface between the Australian military and the civilians with whom they needed to deal with on a daily basis. As a starting point, the Australian army cultivated the NGO community in Baidoa. The relationship began before the arrival of Australian troops. Organizations such as CARE Australia and World Vision were consulted in December 1992 about local personalities and conditions in Baidoa.(85) These consultations, along with a demonstrated willingness to address the security concerns of the NGOs after deployment, forged a close bond between the Australian forces and aid workers. This relationship, as Colonel Hurley acknowledged, had wider implications for the Australians in Baidoa:

By winning the confidence and the trust of the NGOs, that then percolated

down to the people. The NGOs who were feeding them, looking after them,

educating them and so forth were giving them the message that the

Australians were a competent and even-handed lot who could be dealt with.

They could take their problems to us.(86)

Having eased itself into the community through the NGOs, the Australians embarked on a process of `bottom up' political reconstruction. This effort centred on frequent meetings with the clan elders, the semblance of civil authority left in Baidoa. `By establishing a good working relationship with them', noted Colonel Hurley, `we could also get our message down to the people about what we were trying to achieve'.(87) In March 1993, following two UN-sponsored peace conferences in Addis Ababa, arrangements were made to convene a National Congress at Baidoa. Several factions competed for power. The Somali Liberation Army (SLA) which was pro-Aideed, two wings of the Somali Democratic Movement (SDM) and a new, third wing of the SDM, the SDM Baidoa. The Australians saw the latter as an authentic `grass-roots movement' which it `really wanted to foster'. Such a stance `caused some difficulty in Mogadishu between the Australians and the UN. The UN had a top-down approach to peace-building; they focused on the 14 faction leaders, which meant the grassroots movements did not get much attention.'(88)

The political emergence of SDM Baidoa was in no small way due to CMOT's determination to re-establish a local justice administration system. Upon arrival in Baidoa, the Australians discovered that the SLA ran a Mafia-style revenue gathering empire based on terror, intimidation, planned killings, and massacres.(89) The prime function of this external element was to raise funds to support Aideed's broader ambitions in Somalia. While the Australian army quickly faced down early challenges from SLA gunmen and bandits in a number of armed confrontations, the SLA soon realised they could covertly maintain their bandit empire without openly challenging the Australian troops. Indeed, the SLA tried to present itself as a legitimate political authority in Baidoa with whom the Australians should work in tandem.(90) But the `Mogadishu option' was resisted. Rather the strategy adopted to tackle this problem was to build up the law and order structure in Baidoa. It was a joint UNITAF-Australian initiative with considerable input from local clan elders. When the US indicated it was prepared to set up an auxiliary security force in Mogadishu in early February 1993, the Australian `leapt on to that pretty quickly'.(91) In Baidoa, Australian military police and a CMOT legal officer, Major Michael Kelly, as well as troops, were used to train the Somalis as police. By May 1993, a police force of over 200 had been recruited and deployed in Baidoa and outlying areas. Similarily with the judiciary, Australia went further than any other UNITAF partner in restoring a fully functioning legal system based on the 1962 Somali penal code.(92)

Taken together, these measures helped to rebuild local confidence in the rule of law and also encouraged surviving victims of the SLA's criminal organization to provide detailed information on its activities. As a consequence, the notorious and much feared commander of the bandit empire known as Gutaale was arrested and brought to trial in Baidoa.(93) After appearances before the Regional Court and Court of Appeal, Gutaale was convicted of the murders of 32 people as well as related robbery charges and sentenced to death in accordance with the Somali penal code. According to Major Kelly, the execution of this `strong man' had dramatic results in Baidoa. The remnants of the SLA organization packed up and left town within days. Meanwhile the `atmosphere and security in the town improved dramatically'.(94) Something like 70 lesser known figures were also arrested or fled Baidoa. Because of these measures, the Australian troops were able to ensure `there was no outside interference' at the National Congress and SDM Baidoa emerged as the major political force in the township.(95) This outcome was a triumph for the 'bottom up' approach to reconstruction. By responding energetically to the elders' requests to re-establish a police force and judicial system the Australians not only provided a model for the rest of the UN operation, but also consolidated local support for disarmament in the Baidoa HRS. In this connection, Colonel Hurley said `elders would sometimes walk as far as 90 kilometres to report weapons [dumps] which they felt the Aussies would have to deal with'.(96) Nor did the elders try to conceal their contempt for the Somali warlords. `What we don't understand is how you could have all 14 faction leaders in one room (at the UN-backed peace conference in Addis Ababa in March 1993) and then let them go! We do not understand that.'(97)

When the Australians left in May 1993, the situation in Baidoa was stable. Warlords and bandits no longer ruled the day. Armed militiamen and their barricades had disappeared while the surrounding villages were free of the terror once inflicted by armed gangs.(98) Such progress was possible because the Australians focused both on the humanitarian and socio-political symptoms of Somalia's civil conflict and on the material vehicles for perpetuating violence (like weapons and munitions). Operation Solace demonstrated that systematic weapons reduction can be a tool for promoting stability in conditions of little or no civil authority. Quite understandably, the Australians became very popular in Baidoa. And when the end of their operation approached, Canberra had to resist tremendous local and international pressure to extend the stay of the battalion group.(99) It is significant that the positive transformation of Baidoa's security environment was sustained by the 1,100 French UN troops--that replaced the Australians--and their successors, the Indians, both of whom also practiced `total immersion'.(100) Baidoa remained a UN success until 1994 when it too succumbed to the violent turmoil that had reappeared in the rest of southern Somalia.

A comparative assessment

Even allowing for differences in development, population size and clan composition between Mogadishu and Baidoa, a comparison of the disarmament efforts in the two cities is illuminating. At the beginning of the UN's humanitarian intervention, both places were full of the sights and sounds of death and destruction. However, by the time UNITAF was replaced by UNOSOM II in May 1993, the security situation in the two locations had markedly diverged. Mogadishu saw a somewhat marginal improvement while Baidoa underwent a positive transformation. The difference in outcome was related to three factors.

US forces in Mogadishu constantly ran into difficulty over both the conception and duration of their commitment. From the outset, Washington stressed that UNITAF was a strictly humanitarian mission. That meant, in the words of President Bush, the US did not intend to `dictate political outcomes'.(101) Furthermore, the US government qualified its support for securing the environment for humanitarian relief. In this regard, Colin Powell, the US Military Chief of Staff said: `It is not a question on our part or on the subsequent UN part that we will guarantee a weapon-free and violence-free environment. But I think it will be an environment that is manageable ... to ensure the continual delivery of humanitarian supplies to save lives.'(102) Such ambivalence reflected the conflicting goals of doing something `about the starving people that we're seeing on our television screens' and an official determination to pull out US troops from Somalia almost as soon as they had arrived.(103) As a consequence, the US operation in Mogadishu did not look to establish a new transitional political authority, but adapted itself to `working with the major faction leaders'. It manoeuvred in the direction of maximum consent and tacitly accepted that active disarmament of the warring parties constituted an infringement of Somali sovereignty. As events transpired, US troops were drawn into limited disarmament when humanitarian work was impeded by general lawlessness and the level of arms in circulation. But this belated response was too ad hoc and unsystematic to have any significant impact. Constant changes in the weapons policy served to strengthen the resolve of the main warlords and diminished hopes that the NGOs and peaceful Somalis entertained about a concerted US disarmament policy.(104) The very slow efforts to re-establish a law and order system in the Somali capital also compounded that sense of disillusionment.

On the other hand, the Australians arrived in Baidoa with a well-defined game plan. The fact the Australians were deployed for a specified period of time was a distinct advantage. It facilitated a longer term perspective on the UN mission and the problems it faced. The Australians saw disarmament as a crucial but by no means exclusive element in creating a secure environment. Because Somalia was a heavily armed `failed state' with no effective civil authority, the Australians took the view there was no sovereignty to offend.(105) In placing themselves above the belligerents, the Australians not only sought to maintain a ceasefire in Baidoa through forcible disarmament, but also re-establish a law and order structure as part of a wider social reconstruction effort. Unlike the Americans, the Australian battalion subscribed to an `arms spillover' security philosophy.(106) The belief was that if low-level armed crime or factional fighting was ignored or tolerated, similar copy-cat incidents would surely follow, leading to a cycle of escalating violence and banditry. To counter this possibility, it was deemed necessary to take the initiative, intervene in such incidents and confiscate weapons on a `street by street, block by block' basis until an environment of sustainable security was gradually created. But if these gains in security were to be preserved, it `was critical in Somalia to re-establish the law and order system quite quickly' because a large number of clans were moved by famine and civil war into areas traditionally held by other clans.(107) In Baidoa, the restoration of the 1962 Somali Penal Code effectively paved the way for the removal of the pro-Aideed SLA organization from the town. Similar possibilities existed also in south Mogadishu. In 1991, General Aideed's Habir Gedir clan fought Ali Mahdi Mohamed's Abgal followers and took control of much of the south side of the city, including Abgal homes and properties as well as the lucrative seaport and airport. However, the opportunity to use the Somali judiciary system to expel Aideed's foreign militia from south Mogadishu was soon lost when the Americans belatedly sought to restore law and order through the warlords in the Somali capital.(108)

The United States and Australia also demonstrated contrasting styles of peacekeeping in Somalia. Viewed in terms of a continuum, the US pursued what might be called the `sheriff's posse' model of peacekeeping.(109) In the words of Colin Powell, the US Commander-in-Chief, UNITAF was `like the cavalry coming to the rescue, straightening things out for a while, and then letting the marshals come back in to keep things under control'.(110) The US approach was short-term, reactive, high-tech, crisis-oriented and compartmentalised. At the other end of the spectrum, Australia exhibited a Community-oriented style of peacekeeping. This was specific in time, purposeful, low-tech, integrated and participatory. Overall, it was a `tough but tender' approach to peacekeeping.

In relation to disarmament, these differences in style added up to differences in substance. First, there was the question of intelligence. To create a secure environment, UNITAF commanders needed to be able to detect the movement of opposing forces, to determine the location of hidden arms caches and to anticipate the plans of those who might attach their forces or commit crimes. That required a sound information gathering system. But this proved elusive for the US forces in Mogadishu.(111) To be sure, the intricacies of clan and factional loyalties in the Somali capital always complicated the intelligence process. Nevertheless, the uncertainties associated with the length of the US deployment and the extensive use of advanced technology in a marginally developed country served to limit contacts with the local population. The story in Baidoa, however, was quite different. Here, the Australians succeeded in establishing an intimate community intelligence base. As it was clear armed gunmen and bandits were blending into the community, the Australian troops which lacked helicopter support, fostered the community as a source of human intelligence. Regular contacts with the clan elders and the revival of a law and order system were `critical' in providing `intelligence as to what was going on' in Baidoa.(112)

Second, relations between US and Australian peacekeepers and NGOs diverged considerably. It should be emphasised that humanitarian organizations such as Save the Children and CARE were confronting on a daily basis armed bandits and the `armies' of warlords to ensure that food reached the starving long before the UNITAF operation was launched. They did this without military training, the security of APCs, flak jackets or back-up force to call on if arrangements went wrong.(113) With one or two notable exceptions, the `sheriff's posse' style of US peace-keeping alienated a significant number of NGOs in Mogadishu. The US military were criticized for a tendency to treat aid workers as `bleeding hearts', largely ignoring their knowledge of local security problems in Mogadishu and putting the lives of NGO personnel at risk by constantly changing their policy toward the possession of arms in the city.(114) Against this, Australia's community-oriented peacekeeping nurtured a very good relationship with the various NGOs in Baidoa. Convinced they were engaged in a process of nation-building, the Australians stressed teamwork with the NGOs and the clan-elders. `What can we do for you?' and `How can we make your job easier?' were among the questions framing 1 RAR's dialogue with these groups. As an upshot, the Australians developed a `product mix' that addressed local security concerns and provided a range of civilian assistance that went far beyond the US pre-occupation with convoy escorts for the delivery of relief aid.(115)

Third, the issue of patrolling was not given equal weight in the UNITAF operation. Because the US commitment to a secure environment in Somalia was limited, the `sheriff's posse' mode of peace-keeping involved relatively few foot and mobile patrols in Mogadishu. Except for US strongholds such as the UN compound and the international airport, most of the streets in south Mogadishu remained in the hands of armed factions and bandits. The US occasionally contested this control but generally only responded to direct security challenges through rapid, `in-out' manocuvres (i.e. airlifting or transporting troops to a troublespot on a temporary basis). The conspicuous absence of regular patrolling in Mogadishu undermined the US's authority through Somali eyes and certainly compromised any disarmament efforts made there. By way of comparison, patrolling was the backbone of Australia's community-oriented peace-keeping in the Baidoa HRS. From the Australian perspective, a troop presence on the ground amongst the people was both a symbol of resolve and a prerequisite for achieving other humanitarian and security objectives, including disarmament. It gave, in the words of one senior Australian official, `a better outcome than having troops working remotely from the population'.(116)

Finally, despite a Cold War connection with Somalia, the Americans evidently found it difficult to adjust to the political culture of the country. Historically, the Somalis have been a fierce, nomadic and proud people who eked out an existence from the land. In a harsh environment, social co-operation was often tempered by a willingness to fight for access to pasture and water.(117) Moreover, since the late 1980s, civil war and the proliferation of modern arms eroded the traditional authority of clan elders in moderating centrifugal tendencies within Somali society. Faced with this situation, the US, either because of cultural insularity(118) or inexperience in international peace operations,(119) seemed unable to recognise that an unwillingness to disarm gunmen in Mogadishu when the opportunity existed would serve to boost the warlords' standing and quickly demoralize Somali supporters of the intervention. Puzzled and distressed by the gap between the US's awesome military capabilities and limited political will, many Somalis resigned themselves to the power of the warlords and came to question the motives for the US presence: `Without disarmament, the Americans have missed the whole point. Unless they are going to disarm on a nation-wide basis, they might as well pack their bags and go home.'(120)

But the Australians had comparatively few problems in relating to the population of Baidoa region. The key to this cultural `fit' appears to have been a flexible approach to peacekeeping which combined a top-down military stance towards faction fighters or bandits with a bottom-up socio-political strategy towards ordinary Somalis. On the one hand, the Australians asserted themselves as a local leviathan. A concerted effort at weapons control early in the mission was part of a broader Australian effort to signal determination to subdue any armed challengers. Interestingly, Australian military officials believed that such firmness impressed both Somali gunmen and non-combatants alike.(121) On the other hand, the Australians adopted a low-key culturally supportive approach towards ordinary Somalis and respected community figures such as clan elders.(122) According to several accounts, Australian troops showed they `did not feel superior' to the locals and were prepared `to do anything in their power to assist people . . . worse off than themselves'.(123) Pieced together, this combination of determination and compassion helped to forge a bond between the Australians and many Somalis in Baidoa. By curbing the power of the gunmen through active disarmament, the Australians pumped new life into the traditional leadership of the clan elders and, in doing so, facilitated the restoration of some of the vestiges of civil society. While Australian military officials had few illusions about the Somali capacity for violence, they were clearly not prepared to accept Colin Powell's view that Somalia would always be a lawless society.(124)


There was a relationship between the `disappointing' record on disarmament and the absence of progress toward national reconciliation in Somalia.(125) As far as the US was concerned, a programme of active disarmament was not a priority during the UNITAF operation. Indeed, the first really serious attempt to implement a plan of voluntary disarmament only began in January 1993. But in a failed state like Somalia where no recognizable authority existed, the quest for disarmament by consensus proved elusive. It was not uncommon for warlords like General Aideed to co-operate with UNITAF forces one week and then to refuse co-operation the following week.(126) As an upshot, the US's `arms control' approach, predicated on the centralized political management structures of a stateoriented system, proved unworkable in the chaos of Mogadishu and set the scene for the tragic events of 5 June 1993 when UNITAF's much weaker successor, UNOSOM II, tried to enforce disarmament. It was a case of too little too late. Some observers, however, would dispute this interpretation. According to one school of thought, disarmament in Somalia never had a chance because the UN made a fundamental error when it abandoned diplomacy and the consensual principles of traditional peacekeeping to intervene unilaterally in Somalia's civil war. By seeking to impose peace upon the warring factions, the UN compromised one of its main assets, namely political impartiality.(127) In the process, the UN became simply another party to Somalia's civil war and thus become part of the problem rather than the solution to the country's crisis. On this view, Somalia demonstrated that the international urge to `do something' in troubled regions should be resisted unless the measures taken stood a reasonable chance of success on the ground.

Of course, it has to be conceded that the UN faced a formidable task in Somalia. It was no easy thing to foster national reconciliation when both the machinery of government and the traditional hierarchies of clan had been all but completely destroyed by civil war. Moreover, a bloated, and somewhat antiquated UN organization had little precedent for such a role. Beyond that, however, the `fundamentalist' school of thought remains unconvincing. First, in the age of a global communications revolution it was unrealistic to expect the UN to ignore the plight of Somalia, especially as a traditional peacekeeping operation (UNOSOM D, had not proven to be up to the challenge. Second, peace enforcement in Mogadishu initially floundered not because the US used too much force but because the Americans adopted a cap-in-hand approach towards the Somali warlords and were unwilling to enforce disarmament. By courting the warlords, the Americans sought to base a solution to Somalia's troubles on the very forces bearing considerable responsibility for tearing the country apart. Third, the Australians demonstrated in Baidoa that in a Chapter VII operation there is a range of options available, including coercive disarmament, to help bring bandits and warlords to the sober realization that resistance to peace is futile. In striking a balance between cultural relativism and a measured willingness to use force to secure compliance with UN demands, the Australians indicated that successful peace-enforcement was possible in a failed state situation. And while forcible disarmament is not itself automatically tension-reducing, its application within the context of multi-faceted peace-keeping can enhance rather than diminish the impartiality of the UN in a lawless environment.(128) That much was made clear by the Australians.

(1.) `Editorial: No lime for Celebration', Somalia News Update (SNU) [Electronic mail], vol 3, no. 22, 27 August 1994, Ioan Lewis, Making History in Somalia: Humanitarian intervention in a stateless society, Discussion Paper 6 (Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London, September 1993), p. 6.

(2.) Disarmament is often defined as both a process and an end state. See Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham, The Dictionary of World Politics (Harvester Wheatsheaf, Hemel Hempstead, revised edition 1992), pp. 73-74.

(3.) John Drysdale, Whatever Happened to Somalia? (Haan Associates, London, 1994), pp. 47-52.

(4.) Boutros-Ghali cited in Ken Menkhaus and Terence Lyons, `What are the lessons to be Learned from Somalia?' CSIS Africa Notes, no. 144, January 1993, p. 4.

(5.) UN Security Council Resolution 794, dated 3 December 1992.

(6.) UN Security Council Resolution 794.

(7.) Ismat Kittani, `UN Peace Efforts in Somalia', in Kevin Clements and Christine Wilson (eds.), UN Peacekeeping at the Crossroads (Peace Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, 1994), p. 135.

(8.) Reuters, 14 December 1992.

(9.) The Independent (London), 15 December 1992, John L. Hirsch and Robert B. Oakley Somalia and Operation Restore Hope, (United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington, DC 1995), p. 59 and p. 83.

(10.) 7 he Age (Melbourne), 15 December 1992.

(11.) Reuters, 12 December 1992 and 15 December 1992.

(12.) Reuters, 15 December 1992; The Evening Standard (London), 22 December 1992; The Guardian (London), 24 December 1992.

(13.) The Guardian, 16 December 1992.

(14.) The Evening Post (Wellington), 30 December 1992.

(15.) Reuters, 17 December 1992.

(16.) The Age (Melbourne), 15 December 1992, Robert Oakley, the US Special Envoy to Somalia, noted that `as long as UNITAF was in the field, the United States was picking up more than 75 percent of its cost'. See Hirsch and Oakley, Somalia, p. 109.

(17.) Clement Adibe, Managing Arms in Peace Processes: Somalia (United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, New York and Geneva, 1995), p. 60.

(18.) The Guardian, 12 December 1992; Africa Research Bulletin (ARB), 1-31, December 1992, p. 10834.

(19.) Daniel Campagnon, `The Lack of Consideration for Internal Political Dynamics in the International Intervention in Somalia', paper presented at International Colloquim on Integration and Regionalism, Talence, Bordeaux, 17-30 April 1994, p. 19.

(20.) ARB, 1-31 December 1992, p. 10869.

(21.) Report of the Commission of Inquiry Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 885 (1993) to Investigate Armed Attacks on UNOSOM II Personnel Which Led to Casualties Among Them, Security Council Document S119941653, p. 13; ARB, 1-31 December 1992, p. 10834 and 1-31 January 1993, p. 10869.

(22.) Report of the Commission of Inquiry, p. 21; ARB, January 1-31, 1993, p. 10869.

(23.) The Observer (London), 17 January 1993.

(24.) F. M. Lorenz `Weapons Confiscation Policy During the First Phases of Operation "Restore Hope"', Small Wars and Insurgencies, 5, 3 (1994), pp. 414-15.

(25.) Reuters, 30 March 1993.

(26.) The Daily Telegraph (London), 21 December 1992.

(27.) `The United Nations Operations in Somalia', Insight, New Zealand National Radio,

(28.) The Sunday Times (London), 3 January 1993; Lieutenant Colonel Brian Millan, Queenscliff Military Training College, interview with author, 23 January 1995.

(29.) F. M. Lorenz, `Weapons Confiscation Policy', p. 415.

(30.) The Times (London), 1 January 1993.

(31.) Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal Somalia Operation Restore Hope: A preliminary assessment (African Rights, London, May 1993), p. 29.

(32.) The Sunday Times (London), 1 January 1993.

(33.) The Guardian, 4 January 1993.

(34.) The Dominion (Wellington), 25 February 1993, The Guardian, 25 February 1993.

(35.) Ioan Lewis, Making History in Somalia, p. 9; ARB, 1-28 February 1993, p. 10904.

(36.) The Sunday Times, 3 January 1993.

(37.) Walter S. Clarke, `Testing the World's Resolve in Somalia', Parameters, XXIII, 4 (1993-94), p. 49.

(38.) The Sunday Times, 3 January 1993.

(39.) Report of the Commission of Inquiry, p. 13.

(40.) Confidential source, State Department's Bureau of Intelligence, 25 January 1994.

(41.) The Otago Daily Times (New Zealand), 12 December 1992.

(42.) The Guardian, 15 December 1992.

(43.) Colonel M. Couton, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), interview with author, New York, 28 January 1994; Evening Post (Wellington), 26 December 1992.

(44.) The Guardian, 15 December 1992.

(45.) The Guardian, 30 December 1992.

(46.) Reuters, 7 January 1993; 7 Evening Standard (London), 8 January 1993; The Guardian, 9 January 1993.

(47.) The Guardian, 12 January 1993.

(48.) ARB, 1-28 February, 1993, p. 10904.

(49.) Walter S Clarke, `Testing the World's Resolve in Somalia', p. 49.

(50.) The Sunday-Star Times (Wellington), 28 February 1993.

(51.) ARB, May 1-31 1993, p. 11018.

(52.) Ambassador David Shinn, Director for East African Affairs, Department of State interview with author, Washington DC, 24 January 1994.

(53.) Report of the Commission of Inquiry, p. 14, Bruce Lendon, `Somalia: International Intervention in a Failed State', in Kevin Clements and Robin Ward (ed.), Building International Community (Canberra, Allen and Unwin in association with the Peace Research Centre, 1994), pp. 131-132.

(54.) The Washington Post, 28 March 1993.

(55.) Report of the Commission of Inquiry, p. 17.

(56.) Elisabeth Lindenmayer, UN DPKO, interview with author, New York, 27 January 1994.

(57.) Colonel M. Couton, interview with author, 28 January 1994.

(58.) Relief aid worker cited in The Times, 7 June 1993.

(59.) The Australian forces were the only army in the UN operation to receive a letter of commendation from the NGO community in Baidoa; see Peter Kieseker, `Relationships between Non-Government and Multinational Forces in the Field' in Hugh Smith (ed.), Peacekeeping: Challenges for the future (Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, 1993), p. 68. There was also great national and international pressure for the Australians to extend their stay in Baidoa beyond May 1993. This point was made by Rear Admiral A. M. (Gerry) Carwardine, Australian Defence Force Academy, interview with author, 20 January 1995, and Colonel Bill Mellor, `The Australian Experience in Somalia' in Smith (ed.), Peacekeeping, p. 64.

(60.) Robert Breen, Through Aussies Eyes: Photographs of the Australian Defence Force in Somalia 1993 (Canberra, Department of Defence, 1994), p. 13. Defence and Trade, Defence Subcommittee, 8 April 1994, Hansard Report, Canberra, pp. 530-31.

(61.) Testimony of Colonel David Hurley to Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Defence Subcommittee, 8 April 1994, Hansard Report, Canberra, pp. 530-31.

(62.) Mellor, `The Australian Experience in Somalia', p. 66; Testimony of Colonel Bill Mellor to Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Defence Subcommittee, 12 October 1994, Hansard Report, Canberra, p. 51.

(63.) Colonel David Hurley, `An Application of the Laws of Armed Conflict: Operation Solace' in Hugh Smith (ed.), The Force of Law: International law and the land commander (Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, 1994), p. 180.

(64.) Breen, Through Aussie Eyes, p. 14.

(65.) Breen, Through Aussie Eyes, p. 15.

(66.) The Guardian, 17 December 1992; Robert Oakley contests that point but concedes that `UNITAF and the relief agencies could not find an overall solution to this problem of protection'. See Hirsch and Oakley, Somalia, p. 69.

(67.) Kieseker, `Relationships between Non-Government Organisations', p. 71.

(68.) Kieseker, `Relationships between Non-Government Organisations', p. 71.

(69.) The Times, 15 December 1992.

(70.) Breen, Through Aussie Eyes, p. 15.

(71.) Hurley, `An Application of the Laws', p. 180.

(72.) Bngadier Philip McNamara, Queenscliff Military Training College, interview with author, 23 January 1995.

(73.) Major Michael Kelly, `Legal Regimes and Law Enforcement on Peace Operations' in Smith, (ed.), The Force of Law, p. 202.

(74.) Colonel Bill Mellor, interview with Pacific Research, 6, 4 November 1993; Breen, Through Aussie Eyes, p. 53.

(75.) The Age (Melbourne), 29 December 1992.

(76.) Adibe, ManagingArms in Peace Processes: Somalia, p. 74, Colonel Bill Mellor, 'Somalia- A Catalyst for Change in the Command and Control of UN Operations' in Hugh Smith (ed.), Internarional Peacekeeping: Building on rhe Cambodian expenence (Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, 1994), p. 162.

(77.) Lorenz, `Weapons Confiscation Policy', p. 415.

(78.) David Hurley, `An Application of the Laws', p. 185.

(79.) Colonel David Hurley, Headquarters 1st Division, Australian Army, Enoggera, telephone interview with author, 25 January 1995.

(80.) Mellor, `The Australian Experience in Somalia', pp. 62-63.

(81.) Kieseker, `Relationships between Non-Government Organisations', p. 72.

(82.) Hurley, `An Application of the Laws, p. 185.

(83.) Breen Through Aussie Eyes, p. 79; Lorenz `Weapons Confiscation Policy', p. 424.

(84.) Hurley, `An Application of the Laws', p. 181.

(85.) Mellor, 'The Australian Experience in Somalia', p. 60, Kieseker, 'Relationships between Non-Government Organisations', p. 67

(86.) Testimony of Colonel David Hurley to Joint Standing Committee, p. 536.

(87.) Testimony of Colonel David Hurley to Joint Standing Committee, p. 536.

(88.) Mellor, interview, Pacific Research.

(89.) Kelly, `Legal Regimes', pp. 199-200.

(90.) Major Michael Kelly, `Australian Participation in UN Peace Operations', Submission to Australia's Participation in Peacekeeping, Submissions and Incorporated Documents, Australian Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Defence Sub-Committee, Canberra 4, 32-40, 1993, p. 17.

(91.) Testimony of Colonel David Hurley to Joint Standing Committee p. 546.

(92.) Colonel Robert Shoebridge, Department of Defence interview with author, 27 January 1995; Martin R. Ganzglass, `The Restoration of the Somali Justice System', in Walter Clarke and Jeffrey Herbst (eds.), Learning from Somalia: The lessons of armed humanitarian intervention (Boulder, Westview, 1997), pp. 20-41.

(93.) Michael Kelly, Legal Regimes, p. 201.

(94.) Kelly, `Australian Participation in UN Peace Operations', p. 18.

(95.) Mellor, interview, Pacific Research.

(96.) Hurley telephone interview, 25 January 1994.

(97.) Clan elder cited by Mellor, interview, Pacific Research.

(98.) Breen, Through Aussie Eyes, p. 110.

(99.) Carwardine, interview with author, 20 January 1995.

(100.) The Otago Daily Times, 23 November 1993.

(101.) `Substantial American Force Ordered to Somalia', USIA, East Asis/Pacific Wireless File, 4 December 1992, p. 2.

(102.) Powell cited in `US Mission to Somalia Necessary and Clear', p. 19.

(103.) Powell cited in `US Mission to Somalia Necessary and Clear', p. 16.

(104.) Submissions of World Vision Australia to Australia's Participation in Peacekeeping, Submissions and Incorporated Documents, Australian Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Defence Sub-Committee, Canberra, 4, 32-40, 1993, p. 15.

(105.) Kelly, `Legal Regimes', p. 196.

(106.) The phrase is the author's but it is derived from views expressed by Hurley, telephone interview, 25 January 1995.

(107.) Testimony of Colonel David Hurley to Joint Standing Committee, p. 546; The Washington Post, 21 November 1993, Ioan Lewis, letter to The Times, 4 December 1992.

(108.) Thomas J. Callahan, `Some Observations on Somalia's Past and Future', CSIS Africa Notes, 158, March 1994, p. 6; Clarke, `Testing the World's Resolve', p. 49.

(109.) Brian Urquhart `Beyond the "Sheriff's Posse" ', Survival 32, 3, 1990.

(110.) Powell cited in `US Mission to Somalia Necessary and Clear', p. 17.

(111.) Confidential source, State Department's Bureau of Intelligence, 25 January, 1994.

(112.) Testimony of Colonel David Hurley to Joint Standing Committee, p. 546; Submission of Major Michael Kelly `Australian Participation in UN Peace Operations', p. 3.

(113.) Kieseker, `Relationships between Non-Government Organisations', p. 68.

(114.) Kieseker, `Relationships Between Non-Government Organisations', p. 68; Ian Wishart, Manager of World Vision Australia's Relief Project Unit, cited in Submission of World Vision Australia to Australia's Participation in Peacekeeping, p. 15.

(115.) Murray Domney, International Policy Division, Department of Defence, Australia, interview with author, 27 January 1994: Kieseker, `Relationships between Non-Government Organisations', pp. 71-3.

(116.) Testimony of Lieutenant General John Baker, Vice Chief of the Australian Defence Force, to Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. Defence Sub-committee, 8 April 1994, Hansard Report, Canberra, p. 481.

(117.) Lewis, Making History in Somalia, p. 2.

(118.) According to Reginald Stuart, `Americans have historically found it difficult to step outside of themselves when judging others. And they have rarely realized how much their own values unconsciously smudged the lenses through which they viewed the world' cited in Bradford Perkins, The Creation of a Republican Empire (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1993) p. 12.

(119.) Major General Geoff Carter, Australian Defence Force Headquarters, Canberra, interview with author, 6 January 1995.

(120.) A Somali agriculturist cited in Omaar and de Waal, Somalia Operation Restore Hope, p. 20.

(121.) Hurley, telephone interview, 25 January 1995; McNamara, interview with author, 23 January 1995; Millan, interview with author, 23 January 1995.

(122.) Domney, interview with author, 27 January 1995.

(123.) Domney, interview with author, 27 January 1994, Testimony of Colonel David Hurley to Joint Standing Committee p. 531.

(124.) Powell cited in `US Mission to Somalia Necessary and Clear', p. 21.

(125.) Mike McCurry, press spokesman for President Bill Clinton, cited in Reuters, 3 November 1993; Hirsch and Oakley, Somalia, p. 154.

(126.) `Practitioners' Questionnaire on: Weapons Control, Disarmament, and Demobilization during Peacekeeping Operations', in Adibe, Managing Arms in Peace Processes, p. 225.

(127.) Ramesh Thakur, `From Peacekeeping to Peace Enforcement: the UN Operation in Somalia', Journal of Modern African Studies 32, 3 (1994).

(128.) Miles Armitage, UN Political Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, interview with author, 14 December 1994.

Dr. Robert G. Paeman reaches in the Department of Political Studies, University of Orago, New Zealand. He gratefully acknowledges that the research undertaken in Australia for this study was supported by a Public Advisory Committee on Disarmement and Arms Control (PACDAC) Fellowship. An earlier version of this paper appeared as Working Paper 162 for the Peace Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, September 1996.
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Author:Patman, Robert G.
Publication:African Affairs
Date:Oct 1, 1997
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