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Somalia And US Essay, Research Paper

The desire for an organization that would help the international community

?avoid future conflicts? and the recognized need for a global body that

would ?promote international economic and social cooperation? led the

powerful states emerging from the rubble of WWII to develop the United Nations.

The newly formed United Nations ?represented an expression of hope for the

possibilities of a new global security arrangement and for fostering the social

and economic conditions necessary for peace to prevail? (Mingst and Karns 2).

The need for mutual cooperation amongst the states following the second of the

global wars was vital to the reconstruction of war-torn Europe, and for the

development of a new world order. This attempt at cooperation was not the first

of its kind. According to Mingst and Karns, ?The UN?s Charter built on

lessons learned from the failed League of Nations created at the end of World

War I and earlier experiments with international unions, conference diplomacy,

and dispute settlements mechanisms? (2). Despite this ?experience? in

mutual cooperation, the founding states still faced many problems in the

security arena due to the advent of the Cold War. In order to effectively deal

with security issues facing the UN, the Security Council turned to ?peace-

Mulligan 2 keeping? as an alternative to armed aggression. According to the

United Nations Department of Public Information, ?Peacekeeping was pioneered

and developed by the United Nations as one of the means for maintaining

international peace and security? (1998), and the UN deals with particular

problems through ?the prevention, containment, and moderation of hostilities

between or within states through the use of multinational forces of soldiers,

police, and civilians? (Mingst and Karns 3). This was a very different

approach to quelling conflicts that had never before been practiced.

Peacekeeping was ?a creative response to the breakdown of great-power unity

and the spread of East-West tensions to regional conflicts? (Mingst and Karns

3). Before the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate, John

R. Bolton, Senior Vice President of the American Enterprise Institute, stated

further reasoning for the evolution of peacekeeping. He notes: ?Traditional?

U.N. peacekeeping evolved when it became clear that the broad intentions of the

Framers of the U.N. Charter were rendered largely meaningless by the onset of

the Cold War. U.N. involvement in international crises, far from being the

central dispute-resolution mechanism envisioned by the Framers in Chapters VI

and VII, became episodic and incidental to the main global confrontation between

East and West. Since ?Cold War tensions have subsided, peace has been

threatened by resurgent ethnic and nationalist conflicts in Mulligan 3 many

regions. As a result, U.N. peacekeeping operations have grown rapidly in number

and complexity in recent years. While 13 operations were established in the

first forty years of U.N. peacekeeping, 28 new operations have been launched

since 1988? (UNDPI 1998). The following map shows the many regions of the

world in which the United Nations has become involved in a peacekeeping mission:

Mulligan 4 Due in part because of the extraordinarily limited dimensions within

which U.N. peacekeeping was feasible, a clear set of principles evolved to

describe the elements necessary for successful U.N. operations. These rules

would become the standard from which future U.N. peace-keeping missions would be

drawn. The first criterion for a U.N. peacekeeping mission was consent.

According to Bolton, ?All of the relevant parties to a dispute had to agree to

the participation of U.N. peacekeepers in monitoring, observing or policing a

truce, cease fire, or disengagement of combatants? (2000). This agreement must

not only grant the U.N. the right to intervene in the state?s internal

affairs, but also detail the ?scope of its mission and the operational

requirements for carrying out that mission? (Bolton 2000). A nation-state, at

any time, could withdraw its consent at which point the U.N. forces would

withdraw. One example of revoking consent occurred in ?May, 1967, when Egypt

insisted on the withdrawal of the U.N. Expeditionary Force (established after

the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956) from its territory along the border with

Israel? (Bolton 2000). U.N. forces were forced to leave, and as a result, the

Six Day War followed. Mulligan 5 A second requirement was the notion that the

U.N. forces would not take sides in the conflict. Bolton states that ?U.N.

peacekeepers were [to be] neutral [amongst] the parties to the conflict, not

favoring one or another of them. It was understood to be elemental that the

United Nations could not ?take sides? in a conflict without itself becoming

involved in the very situation it was trying to stabilize or resolve (2000).

Remaining neutral, however, would prove to be difficult as we will witness

further along in this work. To ensure the U.N. forces neutrality, the

peacekeepers were ?almost always only lightly armed, or unarmed, and they

frequently depended on the cooperation of the parties to a dispute for

logistical support or cooperation? (Bolton 2000). Lacking the appropriate

offensive capabilities would deter possible outbreaks of aggression on the part

of the peacekeeping forces. According to Mingst and Karns, ?Peacekeepers use

military force only as a last resort and in self-defense. This precedent was a

response to the difficulties encountered in the Congo in 1961 when the Security

Council authorized the United Nations Operation in the Congo (UNOC) to use force

to prevent civil war and to remove foreign mercenaries in that country. The use

of force ? even limited force ? is fraught with political and legal

controversy? (79). As a result of the limited military Mulligan 6

capabilities, the U.N. peacekeepers ?had no right of enforcement, and their

missions were deliberately non-coercive, not intended to compel any party to

accept a particular settlement. U.N. rules of engagement, through

long-established practice, provided for the use of force essentially only in

self-defense? (Bolton 2000). The use of force by a U.N. force would be

questioned in future peacekeeping endeavors. U.N. involvement in Somalia would

prove to be one such example of the problems experienced by the occupying

forces. Somalia has been described as the textbook example of a ?collapsed?

or ?failed? state. Throughout the period of intervention, those involved in

?restoring hope? ? from the military and civilian sides ? no doubt

understood too little about the sources of state dissolution and the respective

roles of the Somali clan system, colonialism, and Cold War geopolitics in the

horn of Africa. Prior to British and Italian colonialism, ?there was no common

Somali identity or centralized control over the territory of what became

Somalia. Although more homogeneous than other countries in Africa ? with a

common ethnicity, language, culture, and religion (Islam) ? Somalia?s

geographical area was occupied by nomadic Mulligan 7 pastoral groups, organized

predominately by paternal kinship? (Weiss 71). The continually moving

population made establishing a centralized governmental body difficult and there

was no recognition of a ?hierarchical system?. This lack of a controlling

body led to conflict among the indigenous peoples. Thomas G. Weiss states that

conflict was ?common among lineages, especially in competition for land and

resources necessary for survival. But there were conflict resolution mechanisms

within the lineages, known as the ?xeer,? which prevented the escalation of

conflicts by inhibiting the excessive economic stratification in society?

(71+). He goes on to say that, ?The spread of Islam modified conflict

management by adding a mild form of the Shari?ah Islamic Law. Acts of

vengeance were diminished through the concept of the ?dia,? or the payment

of ?blood money? compensation to the victim by the violator? (Weiss 72).

Despite the lack of a governing body to enforce laws, social institutions were

there to control behavior. While the basis of organization was direct lineage,

groups were also structured by subclans and then clan families, each

predominantly associated with sometimes overlapping geographical areas. The six

overarching major Mulligan 8 clan families are the Darod, Digil, Dir, Hawiye,

Issaq, and Rahanwein. Traditionally, lineages continually created and shifted

alliances among other groups and subclans. The end of colonialism in 1960

further shifted alliances amongst the clans. The transition from a lineage/clan

based society to a centralized state authority posed new problems for the

independent Somali government. However, governmental attempts to rid the

political environment of clan-influence failed when an army coup in 1969 placed

Mohammed Siad Barre in power. Thomas G. Weiss explains the result of Barre?s

rise to power. He says, Rhetorically, Barre?s policy of ?scientific

socialism? aimed to eliminate ?clanism,? but the end result of his

twenty-two-year rule was strengthening of clan-based politics. He forbade the

use of clan names; however, his primary method of obtaining and maintaining

power was to draw support from his own clan and those linked by lineage and to

pit other clans against one another. Virginia Lung has described this policy as

a form of ?clan clientelism,? in which arms, money, and land were

distributed to clans in order to maintain his power (73). Thus, the clan-based

system was not eliminated; it was reinforced. The late 1980?s saw the steady

decline in Barre?s power. ?The combination of food crises, economic

collapse, and the end of Cold War competition in the horn, along with the

resulting decline in foreign aid, began to erode Barre?s base? (Weiss 75).

Further, the rise of clan-based national movements and their success in

challenging Barre?s Mulligan 9 rule led to the multiplication of clan based

factions. ?Spurred by the fear that one group?s assumption of power would be

detrimental to another?s own position,? says Weiss, ?clan-based opposition

led to extreme fragmentation of Somali society? (75). In the end, Barre?s

own policy backfired on him. By 1990, his power base was limited to only one

clan ? the Marehan. In 1991 and 1992 ?civil order in Somalia totally

collapsed as warring clans seized control of parts of the country? (Mingst and

Karns 92). The fighting that followed, with clans and subclans constituted in

loose alliances without central control, took place at a time of serious

drought. That combination proved disastrous for the population at large. By

1992, ?almost 4.5 million people, more than half the total number in the

country, were threatened with starvation, severe malnutrition and related

diseases? (UNDPI 1997). According to Mingst and Karns, ?Widespread famine

and chaos accompanied the fighting, forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians

to the brink of starvation. Control of food was a vital political resource for

the Somali warlords and a currency to pay the mercenary gangs who formed their

militias? (92). At this time, ?most government, NGO, and U.N. humanitarian

Mulligan 10 organizations evacuated staff and suspended programs? (Weiss 78).

A handful of organizations, however, remained and attempted to counteract

overwhelming human suffering. In mid-1992, ?in response to the increased media

coverage, the number Of NGOs dramatically increased temporarily, eventually

numbering around fifty? (Weiss 79). However, as Lt. General Manfred Eisele

illustrates in his report to the United Nations following the Somalia crisis it

was hard to make progress without military intervention. He says: The descent

into anarchy, with the concomitant lack of security, was the main reason why a

large-scale and well-coordinated relief operation could not be mounted in

Somalia in 1992. Although notable results were achieved on the humanitarian

relief front, including the advocacy work of NGOs, the mass feeding kitchens

operated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the opening of

Mogadishu port the World Food Programme, far too little was achieved too late

and the lives of countless Somalis, mainly women and young children, were lost.

Thus, adequate security arrangements [were] imperative to safeguard the

humanitarian space needed for successful relief operations. At this point,

?international pressure [was] building for the secretary-general and the

Security Council to intervene in Somalia in an effort to end months of factional

fighting? (San Diego Union-Tribune 1992). However, some members appeared

reluctant to become deeply involved in what they saw as an increasingly

dangerous and chaotic situation. Further, there was also ?widespread

reluctance among Security Council members to suggest any peacekeeping role for

the United Nations when the Somali factions were Mulligan 11 still fighting one

another and bands of armed irregulars roam the country? (San Diego

Union-Tribune 1992). However, in April 1992, the U.N. decided to intervene.

Established to monitor the cease-fire in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and

to provide protection and security for United Nations personnel, equipment and

supplies at the seaports and airports in Mogadishu and escort deliveries of

humanitarian supplies from there to distribution centers in the city and its

immediate environs, the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) began. 500

Pakistani troops were deployed in August 1992. However, by November 1992,

?1,000 Somalis [were] dying every day and three-fourths of Somalia?s

children under age five [were] already dead? (Mingst and Karns 92). The

secretary-general of the U.N. felt that ?more forceful measures? were

needed. In December 1992, the U.N. authorized ?a large U.S.-led

military-humanitarian intervention ? Unified Task Force (UNITAF) ? to secure

ports and airfields, protect relief shipments and workers, and assist

humanitarian relief efforts? (Mingst and Karns 92+). Also on UNITAF?s agenda

were the imposition of a ceasefire, and the disarmament of the various factions.

In 1993, however, UNITAF was Mulligan 12 replaced by UNISOM II after few results

in peacekeeping were achieved. UNISOM II differed from previous attempts at

intervention in that it was authorized to use force when disarming the factions.

Similarly, the faction leaders were now targets for elimination by the

intervention forces. This converted the U.N.?s role from neutral peacekeeper

to active belligerent, putting UNISOM ?in the worst of all possible worlds

which past peacekeepers had scrupulously avoided?[and] made it one of the

players in the conflict? (Mingst and Karns 93). As the U.S. military pursued a

more active role in thwarting the factions, they experienced casualties. On

October 3, 1994, 18 soldiers were killed and 78 wounded during a rescue attempt.

The American public was outraged by the massacre, and did not legitimize the

sacrifice made by the American soldiers nor the current role of its military

abroad. U.S. troops were withdrawn from Somalia in March 1995. When the last of

the U.N. troops were withdrawn, the ultimate result of the military help and

humanitarian delivery was unclear. It was a ?non-event,? wrote Gerard

Prunier, and ?life went on pretty much the same way as it had gone on during

the late UNISOM II period? (Weiss 95). Three years and some $4 billion had

Mulligan 13 left the warring parties better armed, rested, and posed to resume

civil war. The Somalia crisis can be analyzed by examining the relationship

between the IO, namely the U.N., and the nation-state, Somalia. As we have seen,

IO?s do not prevent wars from happening. They can not prevent them because

they do not have the power to do so. Only the nation-state can prevent the war.

In order to understand this better, we must look at this through the Westphalian

System v. Grotian Law perspective. The Westphalian system, based on the Treaty

of Westphalia of 1648, is one that contends that the nation-state has the right

to territorial self-determination. Essentially, the people within their

territory decide want they want, and no other nation can intervene in their

internal affairs. The Somali warlords believed that they had the right to

determine what was best for them within their country?s boundaries. Thus, they

rejected the U.N. presence in their homeland. Grotian Law, however, contends

that nation-states must work together in order to achieve common interests, and

that cooperation is paramount. The U.N. adopted this role when it felt it needed

to intercede on Somalia?s behalf in order to alleviate global concerns for the

suffering people in Mulligan 14 Somalia. This is when the two schools of thought

are unable to reach decisions, and problems arise. The IO does not have the

authority to force the nation-state to comply with global concerns. As we have

seen in Somalia, the U.N. forces were unable to make great progress in

establishing peace. Another pattern observed in the Somalia issue is Rhetoric v.

Actual Behavior. Many times, a nation-state will sign treaties and then perform

actions completely opposite of this. In this case, the Somali warlords signed

countless ceasefires with envoys to allow humanitarian relief efforts to gain

access to the needy people. However, the fighting never seemed to end despite

the promised calm. Somalia and U.N. Peacekeeping Forces: Who Has the Right?

Seann T. Mulligan April 25, 2000 Professor Sterling-Folker POLS 225 Works

Consulted Comaroff, J. University of Chicago Press. Body of Power, Spirit of

Resistance: The Culture and History of a South African People. Chicago: 1989.

Creveld, M. van. On Future War. London: Brassey’s, 1991. Davis, J. The

Anthropology of Suffering. Journal of Refugee Studies, 5 (2). 1992. Downs, R. E.

and S. P. Reyna, (eds.). University Press of New England. Land and Society in

Contemporary Africa. Hanover, New Hampshire: 1988. Eriksen, T. H. Ethnicity and

Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives. London: Pluto Press. 1993. Ferguson,

R. B and N. L. Whitehead (eds.). Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.

War in the Tribal Zone: Expanding States and Indigenous Warfare. 1992. Goheen,

M. and P. Shipton. Understanding African Landholding: Power, Wealth, and

Meaning. Africa, 62:307-325. 1992. Hardin, G. The tragedy of the commons.

Science 162:1243-48, 1968. Lewis, I. M. Misunderstanding the Somali crisis.

Anthropology Today, 9 (4). Makinda, S. Academy. Seeking Peace from Chaos:

Humanitarian Intervention in Somalia. Boulder: International Peace Menkhaus, K.

Getting Out Vs. Getting Through: U. S. and U. N. Policies in Somalia. Middle

East Policy, 3(1):146-162. Prendergast, J. Human Rights Abuse in Somalia. New

York: Center of Concern. The Bones of Our Children Are Not Yet Buried: The

Looming Spectre of Famine and Massive Richards, P. Famine (and war) in Africa.

Anthropology Today 8 (6). Works Cited Bolton, John R., Congressional Testimony,

April 4, 2000. Eisele, Lt. Gen. Manfred. Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

http://www.un.org Mingst, Karen A. and Margaret P. Karns. The United Nation in

the Post-Cold War Era, 2nd ed. Westview Press, 2000. San Diego Union-Tribune,

The. ?Somalia civil war will test the mettle of new boss at U.N.? December

12, 1992. UN Department of Public Information. ?UN Peacekeeping: Some

Questions and Answers?, September 1996. UN Department of Public Information.

?Somalia ? UNISOM I?, March 1997. UN Department of Public Information.

?Somalia ? UNISOM II?, August 1996. Weiss, Thomas G., Military-Civilian

Actions. Rowman and Littlefield, 1999. UN Peacekeeping in Somalia Widespread

drought in Somalia brought relief efforts into the country. Starvation and

disease are rampant. The collapse of the political framework led to civil war

amongst the various factions. The relief efforts were being targeted by the

Somali warlords and the Somali president petitions the U.N. for help. U.N.

peacekeeping forces are sent in to protect humanitarian relief workers and to

ensure that the food stuffs are being delivered. Three Phases: I. UNISOM I

(United Nations Operations in Somalia) — comprised mainly of 500 Pakistani

soldiers, lightly armed II. UNITAF (United Task Force) — after little is gained

by UNISOM I, the U.N. secretary-general calls for more coercive action. — a

large U.S.-led military-humanitarian intervention, known as ?Operation Restore

Hope? — UNITAF was largely successful in achieving its humanitarian

objectives, supplying food to those who need it and imposing de facto ceasefire

in areas of deployment — could not, however, fulfill the larger tasks of

peacemaking. The US withdraws from Somalia and was replaced by UNISOM II III.

UNISOM II — a larger and more heavily armed force than a traditional

peacekeeping contingent but smaller than UNITAF and lacking much of the heavy

equipment and airpower brought by the US. Result: UN forces have succeeded in

relieving much of the starvation but not in helping the Somalis to reestablish a

national government or to end their internal strife. Relevant Approaches for

Analysis: 1. Westphalian System v. Grotian Law 2. Rhetoric v. Actual Behavior


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