December 10, 1992 |
Facing virtually no resistance, U.S. Marines yesterday consolidated their hold on Mogadishu's vital airport and seaport, clearing the way for the first U.N. planeload of food to reach the city since late October. The day began with Marines roaring ashore in a small, stony cove near the airport and ended with an armored column rumbling across town to recapture the U.S. Embassy and raise the Stars and Stripes there once again. And with that, Mogadishu was a city transformed.
December 12, 1992 |
Somalia's two chief warlords yesterday agreed to a cease-fire and pledged a reconciliation that may indicate the beginning of the end for this wretched country's woes. But continued violence, and the threat of violence, kept food convoys from venturing to outlying regions where hundreds of people are starving daily. In Baidoa, one of the towns hit hardest by famine and fighting, the violence prompted the U.S. Marines to postpone a relief convoy planned for today. Aid workers were being evacuated from Baidoa, 120 miles northwest of the capital, and from the port of Kismayu, 200 miles south of Mogadishu, because of fighting.
March 27, 1994 |
The general is coming. No one is quite sure exactly when. Maybe as early as today. Women have prepared flowers. Hundreds of hand-held Somalian flags have been ordered for supporters to wave on the road from the airport. Serious-faced poets sit barefoot in the cool shade of a tree writing verse to commemorate the event. "Aidid is coming," said Burhan Gutale, an adviser and spokesman for Mohamed Farrah Aidid, once the most hunted man on earth and now the returning conqueror of Somalia.
June 20, 1993 |
Somalia's misery did not begin the day the U.S. Marines stepped ashore in the glare of the TV cameras. It didn't begin the day the United States handed over control of ground forces to the United Nations four months later. It didn't begin when U.S. gunships began pounding a local warlord's compounds eight days ago. It didn't even begin way back in the late '70s, when the United States was handing tons of sophisticated weaponry to former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, who left it all behind when he fled in 1991.
October 13, 1993 |
A recent editorial on Somalia suggested isolating fugitive warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid by pulling the center of the United Nations mission out from under his Mogadishu base and shifting it down the coast to the port of Merca. For reasons that should be self-evident, this would not be a very good idea. But at least it's a reminder that there is such a port as Merca, even though you won't be able to find it on any of the maps of Somalia that newspapers and TV networks have been using.
October 6, 1993
It's the pictures again - the relentless images of painful, pointless death disturb our peace. Again. The sickening scenes invade our living rooms via the airwaves, stare up at us from the coffee table, force us to deal with death in graphic terms. A year ago, we watched the children dying from a lack of the food we scrape from our plates. We saw their bodies rotting in piles while supplies that could have saved them rotted on docks. This year, it's our kids we see - being dragged naked through the streets of Mogadishu like hunters' trophies.
October 5, 2011 |
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Al-Qaeda-linked extremists on Tuesday launched their deadliest single bombing in Somalia, killing at least 70 people and demonstrating how the group that blocked aid to famine victims can still mount devastating violence even after most of its fighters fled the capital in August. A truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded outside the Ministry of Education on one of central Mogadishu's busiest streets, where students and their parents were registering for scholarships offered by the Turkish government.
December 22, 1997
President Clinton procrastinated early in his first term on what to do about the "ethnic cleansing" being pursued by Serb forces against Muslims in Bosnia. Many believe that his agonized hesitation amid the daily slaughter in Bosnia stemmed in part from two words: Remember Somalia. Remember, that is, the bloody day for American troops in Mogadishu, Oct. 3, 1993, which The Inquirer's Mark Bowden has just recounted in unprecedented detail in "Blackhawk Down. " Four years later, a clear picture of the Battle of Mogadishu emerges.
August 22, 1992
It is welcome news that the United States is beginning a special airlift of food to Somalia, where a third of the nation's 4 1/2 to 6 million people are in danger of starving. A mostly desert country on the Horn of Africa, Somalia has bogged down in near-total anarchy and clan warfare since its government was ousted in January 1991. Fighting has blocked food deliveries, and the human misery has been compounded by terrible drought. One U.S. aid official labels Somalia the "world's worst humanitarian disaster.
October 30, 2011 |
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A team of suicide bombers and gunmen disguised as soldiers assaulted an African Union base in the Somalian capital on Saturday, sparking a two-hour gunfight that left at least 10 people dead, security officials said. The al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group that claimed the attack said one of the bombers was Somalian American. The attack underscored the militants' ability to carry out complex and deadly operations even after AU troops forced them from most of Mogadishu and a famine in their strongholds weakened their forces.