Sunday, December 9, 2018

December 9th...This Day in History (U.S Marines storm Mogadishu, Somalia + others)

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U.S Marines storm Mogadishu, Somalia 1992

On this day in 1992, 1,800 United States Marines arrive in Mogadishu, Somalia, to spearhead a multinational force aimed at restoring order in the conflict-ridden country.

Following centuries of colonial rule by countries including Portugal, Britain and Italy, Mogadishu became the capital of an independent Somalia in 1960. Less than 10 years later, a military group led by Major General Muhammad Siad Barre seized power and declared Somalia a socialist state. A drought in the mid-1970s combined with an unsuccessful rebellion by ethnic Somalis in a neighboring province of Ethiopia to deprive many of food and shelter. By 1981, close to 2 million of the country’s inhabitants were homeless. Though a peace accord was signed with Ethiopia in 1988, fighting increased between rival clans within Somalia, and in January 1991 Barre was forced to flee the capital. Over the next 23 months, Somalia’s civil war killed some 50,000 people; another 300,000 died of starvation as United Nations peacekeeping forces struggled in vain to restore order and provide relief amid the chaos of war.

In early December 1992, outgoing U.S. President George H.W. Bush sent the contingent of Marines to Mogadishu as part of a mission dubbed Operation Restore Hope. Backed by the U.S. troops, international aid workers were soon able to restore food distribution and other humanitarian aid operations. Sporadic violence continued, including the murder of 24 U.N. soldiers from Pakistan in 1993. As a result, the U.N. authorized the arrest of General Mohammed Farah Aidid, leader of one of the rebel clans. On October 3, 1993, during an attempt to make the arrest, rebels shot down two of the U.S. Army’s Black Hawk helicopters and killed 18 American soldiers.

As horrified TV viewers watched images of the bloodshed—-including footage of Aidid’s supporters dragging the body of one dead soldier through the streets of Mogadishu, cheering—-President Bill Clinton immediately gave the order for all American soldiers to withdraw from Somalia by March 31, 1994. Other Western nations followed suit. When the last U.N. peacekeepers left in 1995, ending a mission that had cost more than $2 billion, Mogadishu still lacked a functioning government. A ceasefire accord signed in Kenya in 2002 failed to put a stop to the violence, and though a new parliament was convened in 2004, rival factions in various regions of Somalia continue to struggle for control of the troubled nation.

(More Events on This Day in History)

GENERAL INTEREST
1992
Separation of Charles and Diana announced
British Prime Minister John Major announces the formal separation of Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, and his wife, Princess Diana. Major explained that the royal couple were separating “amicably.” The report came after several years of speculation by the ...

MUSIC
1972
“I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy tops the U.S. pop charts
Nothing in her professional credentials suggested the Australian pop singer Helen Reddy as a feminist icon prior to 1972. She’d made her way to the United States from her native Australia on her own to pursue stardom, and she’d paid her dues working on the periphery of the music ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1958
John Birch Society founded
In Indianapolis, retired Boston candy manufacturer Robert H.W. Welch, Jr., establishes the John Birch Society, a right-wing organization dedicated to fighting what it perceives to be the extensive infiltration of communism into American society. Welch named the society in honor ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1990
Walesa elected president of Poland
In Poland, Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity trade union, wins a landslide election victory, becoming the first directly elected Polish leader. Walesa, born in 1943, was an electrician at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk when he was fired for union agitation in 1976. When ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1987
Intifada begins on Gaza Strip
In the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, the first riots of the Palestinian intifada, or “shaking off” in Arabic, begin one day after an Israeli truck crashed into a station wagon carrying Palestinian workers in the Jabalya refugee district of Gaza, killing four and wounding 10. Gaza ...

VIETNAM WAR
1971
Paris peace talks break down
For the first time since the Paris peace talks began in May 1968, both sides refuse to set another meeting date for continuation of the negotiations. The refusal to continue came during the 138th session of the peace talks. U.S. delegate William Porter angered the communist ...

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