Whatever Happened to Somalia? | 2nd Edition
A Tale of Tragic Blunders
AUTHOR: Drysdale, John
PUBLISHER: Haan Associates Publishing
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Beginning in November 1991, there was heavy fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu between soldiers in alliance with General Mohamed Farah Aidid and those in alliance with Ali Mohamed Mahdi, the appointed interim president, as well as other, smaller factions. In addition to Mogadishu, there was also conflict in Kismayo. In the northwest, local leaders were pushing to create an independent "Somaliland." The country as a whole was without any form of central government.
The fighting took place at a time of serious drought and that combination proved disastrous for the population at large. By 1992 almost 4.5 million people were threatened with starvation, severe malnutrition and related diseases. Overall, an estimated 300,000 people died. Some 2 million people, violently displaced from their home areas, fled to either neighboring countries or elsewhere within Somalia. All of the central government and at least 60 percent of the country's basic infrastructure were lost.
The United Nations Operation in Somalia was set up to provide humanitarian aid to people trapped by civil war and famine. The mission developed into a broad attempt to help stop the conflict and reestablish the basic framework of aviable government.
In an important new preface to this edition, "Mogadishu, the Fatal Att
PUBLICATION DATE: 5/1/2002
CATEGORY: History, Political Science