The Battle of Mogadishu was fought in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 3rd October to 4th October, 1993, it also perpetuated the Somali Civil War. It was fought between the forces of the United States; supported by UNOSOM II, and the Somali militiamen who were devoted to Mohamed Farrah Aidid. In the aftermath of the battle, dead American soldiers were dragged through the streets by Somalis, and it was shown on American television to public outcry. Fear of a repeat of a battle, it was the reason for American reluctance to get involved in the Rwandan genocide, which took place six months later.
The Somalian President, Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in January 1991, leading to the battle in Somalia. The Somali National Army were dispersed and they reunited the clan militias.
The main rebellious group which was United Somali Congress (USC), was later divided into two armed factions: Ali Mahdi Muhammad led one, while Mohamed Farrah Aidid led the other.
The rebel groups soon became five in total which were:
1. The USC
2. The Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF)
3. The Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM)
4. The Somali Democratic Movement (SDM).
5. The Somali National Movement (SNM) who selected Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur as president as they declared independence later in June. Hostility was agreed to be ended in June 1991, because the fifth party declared independence but it couldn’t take place.
In September of 1991, there were several fights which ended the lives of over 20,000 people and several others were injured before the year ended. It led to destruction which caused starvation in most parts of the country. Food was sent to the country as a result, but was often hijacked by the local clan leaders and exchanged for weapons with other countries. This further led to loss of lives of over 300,000 people and 1.5 million people suffered between the years of 1991 and ’92. In July 1992, there was a cease-fire between the clan leaders and the UN sent over 50 military men to observe how the food is distributed.
The operation started in August 1992, when the U.S.President George H. W.Bush gave the announcement that “Ten C-130s and 400 people will be deployed to Mombasa, Kenya, to help Somalia’s rural areas. They delivered food and medical supplies of about 48,000 tons to help the starving people”.
When the Army’s M47 tanks which were at a warehouse were not effective enough to stop the massive killings and dispersing of the Somali people during the civil war, the U.S. launched an operation which was termed as Operation Restore Hope to help and protect the humanitarian activities of the Somalians in December of 1992.
On 3 March 1993, the United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali sent his endorsements to the United Nations Security Council for the changes that were made. He also stated that since December 1992, UNITAF had made impacts on Somalia’s security problems. There was still not much changes in the Somalian’s economy which resulted in serious security threats to the U.N. UNOSOM II established a secured environment throughout Somalia to end the threats to create a democratic country.
There was a conference regarding Somalia on March 15th 1993 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to reconcile all the parties in Somalia to restore peace and democracy. After a month, by May 1993 , Mohammed Farrah Aidid did not agree to the March reconciliation. Mohammed started an anti-UN propaganda on a radio station because he believed that UN wanted to rebuild Somalia. The radio station was shut down by Lieutenant General Çevik Bir to prevent the Somalians from starting a war.
On 5 June 1993, the Pakistani force that was sent to shut down the radio station was attacked because the UN feared they might see something. It resulted in 24 dying and the rest wounded.
On 6 June 1993, the U.N Security Council called for the arrest and conviction of the people who were responsible for the death and injuries of the peacekeepers.
On 12 June, U.S.troops attacked the targeted troops in Mogadishu to find Aidid, until the 16th June when they gave up.
On the 17th June, a $25,000 warrant was put out for information to capture Aidid, but he was never found. A rescue force was required by Howe after the Pakistanis’ deaths.
On 12 July 1993, the US led an operation which the Somalis called Bloody Monday. The operation was to find and kill Aidid.
The Americans claimed their mission was a success. The Somalians gathered a day before the fight to discuss how to end violence which was publicized in the newspaper. As the war happened the day after, most of the Somalians lost trust in the US.
The operation by the US led to the deaths of four journalists by names Dan Eldon, Hos Maina, Hansi Kraus, and Anthony Macharia, who were killed by angry mobs when they arrived in Somalia to cover the war that had occurred which brought about the Battle of Mogadishu.
On 3 October 1993, special operations forces consisting of Bravo Company 3rd Battalion, the 75th Ranger Regiment, the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, and the 160th Aviation Battalion, tried to capture Aidid’s foreign minister, Omar Salad Elmim and his top political advisor, Mohamed Hassan Awale. The plan was that Delta operators would capture the targeted building and secure all the targets. The building was to be isolated so that no enemy could enter or move out.
Some citizens of Somalia walked along the streets with burning tyres, garbage and a lot which blocked the convoy from reaching it’s destination.
The convoy arrived ten minutes later near target building and waited for Delta and Rangers to complete their operation. Todd Blackburn fell while fast-roping from Super 67 while it hovered 70 feet and injured himself, while he was being taken to the base, he was shot in the head by Sergeant Jeff Struecker as instructed by Sergeant Dominick Pilla.
Most of the pilots one of the helicopters were shot which resulted in the deaths of Cliff “Elvis” Wolcott, Donovan “Bull” Briley and Staff Sgt. Ray Dowdy and Staff Sgt. Charlie Warren were also wounded.
Staff Sergeant Daniel Busch and Sergeant Jim Smith survived the crash.
A combat search and rescue team, led by Delta Captain Bill J. Coultrup, Air Force Master Sergeant Scott C. Fales, and Air Force Technical Sergeant Timothy A. Wilkinson, were fast enough to make it to the site and rescue the wounded pilots back to the base. There was a confusion between the convoy and the assault team both waiting to be first to be contacted by the other. The confusion led to a shooting down of another pilot, Michael Durant. The rangers needing a place for their wounded people started staying in the homes of the Somalians.
Gordon was killed eventually, and Shughart went back to hold the mob a little more then he was also killed. The mob then killed all of them except Durant. He nearly died as a result of the beatings but Aidid’s members took him as a prisoner.
For what MSG Gordon and SFC Shughart did, they were awarded the Medal of Honor, the first award since the Vietnam War.
A relief convoy from the Task Force 2–14 Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, accompanied by Malaysian and Frontier Force Regiment of Pakistani U.N forces arrived as instructed by General Garrison to recover the American troops which were delayed.
The battle was over on Monday, 4 October of the same year when the U.S. forces finally left for the U.N. base by the armored convoy. While leaving the crash site, a group of Rangers and Delta operators led by SSG John R. Dycus realized that there was no room left in the vehicles for them and were forced to depart the city on foot to an open place on National Street.
In all the US lost a lot of soldiers and 73 soldiers were wounded. Malaysia lost 1 soldier and 7 were injured. Although, Somalia lost over 2,000 citizens who were military men and civilians during the battle of Mogadishu.