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The international intervention in Somalia 1992-1995

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  1. General statements and recent history.
    1. Social organization and colonial era.
    2. Military takeover by Siad Barre and beginning of civil war.
  2. The United Nations Operation in Somalia: UNOSOM.
    1. From reluctance to Resolution 751.
    2. Inefficiency of the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM).
  3. The United States intervention (UNITAF).
    1. Spreading of UNITAF.
    2. From UNITAF to UNOSOM II: First difficulties.
  4. A new mandate for UNOSOM II.
    1. Peace enforcement under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
    2. Towards withdrawal.
  5. UNOSOM I: Pursuing a traditional way of intervention.
    1. A United Nations basic principle: The theory of collective security.
    2. UNOSOM I: Traditional peacekeeping under Chapter VI.
    3. The difficulties UNOSOM faced.
  6. UNITAF and UNOSOM II: Laboratory for the beginnings of a new interventionism.
    1. The traditional principles of public international law.
    2. Intervention under Chapter VII.
    3. Problems raised by this new interventionism.
  7. Compendium.
  8. Bibliography.

Somalia is traditionally a pastoral and nomadic society. Throughout the precolonial era, herders of camels, cattle and sheep lived in a world of ?egalitarian anarchy? where the main preoccupation of the clan families was the well-being of the herd. The clan structure functioned cohesively. Somali clans share a common ethnic and linguistic identity but distinguish from each other by lineage, history and custom. Somali society is composed of five principal clan families, the Hawiye, Darod, Isaaq, Dir and Rahanwein. Each clan is divided into five, or more, smaller clans which is in turn divided into sub clans. With the opening of the Suez canal and the competition among Britain, Italy and France for the control of the Horn of Africa, Somalia entered the modern world and international politics. The division and colonization of Somalia in the 1880s into areas under French, Italian and British control was artificial. None of the European powers was interested in the development or unity of Somalia. Independent and unified Somali Republic was declared on July 1, 1960. The main problem at that time was that neither colonial power had prepared the country for self-government. With no cohesive, trained civil service and no accepted political norms, individual rivalries for power quickly took their toll. From 1960 to 1969, democratic civilian government had to face a plethora of competing political parties and the dispersal of patronage on the basis of clan and personal relationships. Lacking military equipment, as early as 1964 Somalia turned to the Soviet Union for arms, and by 1968 the army has fallen under Soviet tutelage.

[...] To put it differently, no international action can be intended without the consent of the State.[12] Intervention under Chapter VII UNITAF mandate and command ambiguity (December 1992 to May 1993) The Somalia intervention raises the question of the purpose of the intervention under Chapter VII. The resolution 794 was the first Chapter VII issue adopted by the Security Council in the case of Somalia to allow the use of force with the objective of restoring peace. The resolution was attached both to the UN principles of collective security contained in the Charter, and innovative since it was the first time that the use of force was applied to secure humanitarian relief without the agreement of the state concerned. [...]


[...] Even if the UN remains largely dependent on the nature and quality of state foreign policy, UN officials have some room to manoeuvre in carrying out tasks.? Boutros Boutros-Ghali, UN General Secretary United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM): pursuing a traditional way of intervention A basic United Nations principle: the theory of United Nations collective security Definition and legal basis Security, traditionally defined, was supposed to be the primary task of the UN in the larger family of international organizations-the Un system- that was created during World War II. [...]


[...] How the decision to intervene under ?Chapter VI and half' was taken and the organisation of UNOSOM The UN intervention in Somalia has its roots on the will of the international community to provide food and other relief supplies to a country abandoned to a civil war after President Mohamed Siyad Barre is expelled from the dictatorial leadership in January 1991. The outflow of nearly 800000 refugees to neighbour countries gave to the conflict an international impact and urged the UN to take care of the tragic situation of famine caused by severe draughts, aggravated by the war. [...]

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