Somalia And Us

.. ation proved disastrous for the population at large. By 1992, “almost 4.5 million people, more than half the total number in the country, were threatened with starvation, severe malnutrition and related diseases” (UNDPI 1997). According to Mingst and Karns, “Widespread famine and chaos accompanied the fighting, forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to the brink of starvation. Control of food was a vital political resource for the Somali warlords and a currency to pay the mercenary gangs who formed their militias” (92). At this time, “most government, NGO, and U.N. humanitarian Mulligan 10 organizations evacuated staff and suspended programs” (Weiss 78). A handful of organizations, however, remained and attempted to counteract overwhelming human suffering.

In mid-1992, “in response to the increased media coverage, the number Of NGOs dramatically increased temporarily, eventually numbering around fifty” (Weiss 79). However, as Lt. General Manfred Eisele illustrates in his report to the United Nations following the Somalia crisis it was hard to make progress without military intervention. He says: The descent into anarchy, with the concomitant lack of security, was the main reason why a large-scale and well-coordinated relief operation could not be mounted in Somalia in 1992. Although notable results were achieved on the humanitarian relief front, including the advocacy work of NGOs, the mass feeding kitchens operated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the opening of Mogadishu port the World Food Programme, far too little was achieved too late and the lives of countless Somalis, mainly women and young children, were lost.

Thus, adequate security arrangements [were] imperative to safeguard the humanitarian space needed for successful relief operations. At this point, “international pressure [was] building for the secretary-general and the Security Council to intervene in Somalia in an effort to end months of factional fighting” (San Diego Union-Tribune 1992). However, some members appeared reluctant to become deeply involved in what they saw as an increasingly dangerous and chaotic situation. Further, there was also “widespread reluctance among Security Council members to suggest any peacekeeping role for the United Nations when the Somali factions were Mulligan 11 still fighting one another and bands of armed irregulars roam the country” (San Diego Union-Tribune 1992). However, in April 1992, the U.N. decided to intervene. Established to monitor the cease-fire in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and to provide protection and security for United Nations personnel, equipment and supplies at the seaports and airports in Mogadishu and escort deliveries of humanitarian supplies from there to distribution centers in the city and its immediate environs, the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) began.

500 Pakistani troops were deployed in August 1992. However, by November 1992, “1,000 Somalis [were] dying every day and three-fourths of Somalias children under age five [were] already dead” (Mingst and Karns 92). The secretary-general of the U.N. felt that “more forceful measures” were needed. In December 1992, the U.N.

authorized “a large U.S.-led military-humanitarian intervention Unified Task Force (UNITAF) to secure ports and airfields, protect relief shipments and workers, and assist humanitarian relief efforts” (Mingst and Karns 92+). Also on UNITAFs agenda were the imposition of a ceasefire, and the disarmament of the various factions. In 1993, however, UNITAF was Mulligan 12 replaced by UNISOM II after few results in peacekeeping were achieved. UNISOM II differed from previous attempts at intervention in that it was authorized to use force when disarming the factions. Similarly, the faction leaders were now targets for elimination by the intervention forces. This converted the U.N.s role from neutral peacekeeper to active belligerent, putting UNISOM “in the worst of all possible worlds which past peacekeepers had scrupulously avoided..[and] made it one of the players in the conflict” (Mingst and Karns 93).

As the U.S. military pursued a more active role in thwarting the factions, they experienced casualties. On October 3, 1994, 18 soldiers were killed and 78 wounded during a rescue attempt. The American public was outraged by the massacre, and did not legitimize the sacrifice made by the American soldiers nor the current role of its military abroad. U.S.

troops were withdrawn from Somalia in March 1995. When the last of the U.N. troops were withdrawn, the ultimate result of the military help and humanitarian delivery was unclear. It was a “non-event,” wrote Gerard Prunier, and “life went on pretty much the same way as it had gone on during the late UNISOM II period” (Weiss 95). Three years and some $4 billion had Mulligan 13 left the warring parties better armed, rested, and posed to resume civil war. The Somalia crisis can be analyzed by examining the relationship between the IO, namely the U.N., and the nation-state, Somalia.

As we have seen, IOs do not prevent wars from happening. They can not prevent them because they do not have the power to do so. Only the nation-state can prevent the war. In order to understand this better, we must look at this through the Westphalian System v. Grotian Law perspective.

The Westphalian system, based on the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, is one that contends that the nation-state has the right to territorial self-determination. Essentially, the people within their territory decide want they want, and no other nation can intervene in their internal affairs. The Somali warlords believed that they had the right to determine what was best for them within their countrys boundaries. Thus, they rejected the U.N. presence in their homeland. Grotian Law, however, contends that nation-states must work together in order to achieve common interests, and that cooperation is paramount.

The U.N. adopted this role when it felt it needed to intercede on Somalias behalf in order to alleviate global concerns for the suffering people in Mulligan 14 Somalia. This is when the two schools of thought are unable to reach decisions, and problems arise. The IO does not have the authority to force the nation-state to comply with global concerns. As we have seen in Somalia, the U.N. forces were unable to make great progress in establishing peace.

Another pattern observed in the Somalia issue is Rhetoric v. Actual Behavior. Many times, a nation-state will sign treaties and then perform actions completely opposite of this. In this case, the Somali warlords signed countless ceasefires with envoys to allow humanitarian relief efforts to gain access to the needy people. However, the fighting never seemed to end despite the promised calm. Somalia and U.N. Peacekeeping Forces: Who Has the Right? Seann T. Mulligan April 25, 2000 Professor Sterling-Folker POLS 225 Works Consulted Comaroff, J.

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Hardin, G. The tragedy of the commons. Science 162:1243-48, 1968. Lewis, I. M. Misunderstanding the Somali crisis. Anthropology Today, 9 (4).

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Human Rights Abuse in Somalia. New York: Center of Concern. The Bones of Our Children Are Not Yet Buried: The Looming Spectre of Famine and Massive Richards, P. Famine (and war) in Africa. Anthropology Today 8 (6).

Works Cited Bolton, John R., Congressional Testimony, April 4, 2000. Eisele, Lt. Gen. Manfred. Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Mingst, Karen A. and Margaret P. Karns. The United Nation in the Post-Cold War Era, 2nd ed. Westview Press, 2000.

San Diego Union-Tribune, The. “Somalia civil war will test the mettle of new boss at U.N.” December 12, 1992. UN Department of Public Information. “UN Peacekeeping: Some Questions and Answers”, September 1996. UN Department of Public Information.

“Somalia UNISOM I”, March 1997. UN Department of Public Information. “Somalia UNISOM II”, August 1996. Weiss, Thomas G., Military-Civilian Actions. Rowman and Littlefield, 1999.

UN Peacekeeping in Somalia Widespread drought in Somalia brought relief efforts into the country. Starvation and disease are rampant. The collapse of the political framework led to civil war amongst the various factions. The relief efforts were being targeted by the Somali warlords and the Somali president petitions the U.N. for help.

U.N. peacekeeping forces are sent in to protect humanitarian relief workers and to ensure that the food stuffs are being delivered. Three Phases: I. UNISOM I (United Nations Operations in Somalia) — comprised mainly of 500 Pakistani soldiers, lightly armed II. UNITAF (United Task Force) — after little is gained by UNISOM I, the U.N.

secretary-general calls for more coercive action. — a large U.S.-led military-humanitarian intervention, known as “Operation Restore Hope” — UNITAF was largely successful in achieving its humanitarian objectives, supplying food to those who need it and imposing de facto ceasefire in areas of deployment — could not, however, fulfill the larger tasks of peacemaking. The US withdraws from Somalia and was replaced by UNISOM II III. UNISOM II — a larger and more heavily armed force than a traditional peacekeeping contingent but smaller than UNITAF and lacking much of the heavy equipment and airpower brought by the US. Result: UN forces have succeeded in relieving much of the starvation but not in helping the Somalis to reestablish a national government or to end their internal strife. Relevant Approaches for Analysis: 1.

Westphalian System v. Grotian Law 2. Rhetoric v. Actual Behavior.