Somalia remembers humanitarian operation that turned into bloody conflict

1 month ago 3107

US Marines during a US/Belgium joint operation in Somalia in 1993   -  

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ALEXANDER JOE/AFP

By Africanews

Last updated: 47 minutes ago

Somalia

It was 30 years ago that a humanitarian operation to relieve hunger in Somalia turned into a bloody conflict.

The aim of the US-led operation "Restore Hope" was to create the conditions for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

"At the beginning, under the UNITAF operation, US-led countries came to Somalia to deliver humanitarian aid as a long as the people were suffering from famine and also conflict, but when they engaged in fighting against the late General Mohamed Farah Aidid, then the issue changed, and Aidid and his followers started to fight back", said Anwar Abdifatah Bashir, Professor at Somali National University.

The significance and memory of the event is still fresh in the minds of many Somalis.

"For those who supported Aidid and his supporters they consider (the operation, Ed.) as momentum and a point to be, you know, proud of, on the other hand some people can see it as a historical event, so I subscribe it was a historical event", added the Professor.

The retreat of the US-led countries did not return peace to the country that continued to be ravaged by internal conflict.

"After American led countries withdrew from the country, you know the conflict and the intra and intra-clan fighting among Somalis and also the other problems increased and didn’t reduce but scaled up, so the war was somehow refreshed (by), the withdraw of American troops, but the conflict remained unabated", concluded Professor Bashir.

Operation "Restore Hope" was the inspiration behind a Hollywood film, "Black Hawk Down", set in Mogadishu and released in 2001.

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