Since the ill-fated Operation Restore Hope ended in debacle in 1993, America’s involvement in Somalia entered into a deep recession from which it did not emerge for a decade and half. Following the killings of 18 US rangers by Somali militia, the Americans, whose initial mandate was humanitarian rather than peace-making, perceived the Somalis as ungrateful and undeserving of their support and decided to leave. And they did that abruptly. An American diplomat, referring to their withdrawal from Somalia in 1993-4 was reported as saying “we decided to leave the warring Somali clans to finish each other off and they certainly did that”. In retrospect, however, the US decision abandon Somalia, after spending billions of dollars and losing some of its finest soldiers, was a historic strategic and diplomatic misstep. During this recession of interest in Somalia, the US refused to play any role in Somali affairs or support the outcome of a number of reconciliation conferences sponsored by the UN, including the one held in Djibouti in 2000.
Mohamud Dere Hersi (Indheergarad)