Timeline: Somalia, 1991-1999


1991 Jan 27, Muhammad Siad Barre, the dictator of the Somali Democratic Republic since 1969, fled Mogadishu as rebels overran his palace and captured the Somali capital. Dictator Siad Barre was ousted and power fractured into some 27 warring sides and Ali Mahdi Mohamed declared himself president.

1991 The northeast corner of the country declared itself the independent Republic of Somaliland.

1991 Thousands of Bantus fled Somalia for Kenya. In 1999 the US designated this group of people as persecuted and eligible for resettlement in the US.

1991-1992 Some 350,000 Somalis died from disease, starvation and civil war.

1992 Aug 14, Pres. Bush ordered the Pentagon to begin emergency airlifts of food to Somalia which was suffering from severe famine and factional warfare.
1992 Aug 28, US cargo planes landed in Somalia with tons of food for African famine victims.

1992 Oct 9, To protect the US food airlift, the first American forces arrived.

1992 Nov 26, An aid agency predicted disaster if the United States sends a large military force to Somalia.

1992 Dec 3, The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a U.S.-led military mission to help starving Somalia.

1992 Dec 4, President Bush ordered American troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia, threatening military action against warlords and gangs who were blocking food for starving millions.

1992 Dec 8, Americans got to see live television coverage of U.S. troops landing on the beaches of Somalia as Operation Restore Hope began (because of the time difference, it was early December ninth in Somalia).

1992 Dec 9, U.S. Marines landed in Somalia to ensure that food and medicine reach the deprived areas of that country. The US Operations Restore Hope, Continue Hope and others began in Somalia and ended Mar 3, 1995. They cost $1.7 billion and left 43 US casualties with 153 wounded.

1992 Dec 20, U.S. Marines and Belgian paratroopers in Somalia took control of Kismayu’s port and airport; the first truck convoy in more than a month reached the starving inland town of Baidoa.

1992 Dec 23, An American mission to save lives in Somalia lost the first of its own when a U.S. vehicle hit a land mine near Bardera, killing civilian Army employee Lawrence N. Freedman of Fayetteville, N.C. In all over 100 peacekeepers died in Somalia including 42 Americans.

1992 Dec 25, U.S. Marines delivered wheat to a refugee camp in Bardera, Somalia, setting off a small riot among the Somalis; American and French troops also took control of Hoddur.

1992 Dec 28, Somalia’s two main warlords, Mohamed Farrah Aidid and Ali Mahdi Mohamed, promised an end to their hostilities.

1992 Dec 31, President Bush visited Somalia, where he saw firsthand the famine racking the east African nation. He praised U.S. troops that provided relief to the starving population.

1992 Dec, Italy sent 2,500 combat troops to Somalia as part of the US-sponsored multinational force.

1992 At least 350,000 people died in the famine that was compounded by clan warfare.

1992 A UN arms embargo was imposed in Somalia.

1992-1994 Italian Warrant Officer Francesco Aloi kept a diary while in Somalia and documented instances of rape, torture and other brutality against the Somalis.
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A10)

1993 Jan 1, President Bush continued to tour Somalia, greeting hundreds of cheering youngsters and foreign relief workers at an orphanage in Baidoa.
(AP, 1/1/98)

1993 Jan 3, Three days after he was jeered in Sarajevo, U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali took refuge from angry Somalis in Mogadishu.
(AP, 1/3/98)

1993 Jan 7, US forces in Somalia unleashed tank, helicopter and rocket fire on two clan camps in Mogadishu where snipers had been taking potshots at the troops. Cpl. James Perciavalle of Leetsdale, Pa., became the 1st US Marine wounded by friendly fire in Somalia.
(AP, 1/7/98)(Sewickley Herald (Pa), 3/3/93, p.11)

1993 Jan 13, Marine Pvt. 1st Class Domingo Arroyo became the first U.S. serviceman to be killed in Somalia.
(AP, 1/13/98)

1993 Jan 25, Lance Cpl. Anthony D. Botello (21) of Wilburton, Oklahoma, was killed by a sniper in Mogadishu, Somalia.
(LCNT, 2/4/93)

1993 Mar 16, Canadian soldiers in Somalia beat to death a local teenager, Shidane Arone, during their participation in the UN humanitarian efforts. An inquiry led to the disbanding of Canada’s elite Canadian Airborne Regiment, greatly damaged the morale of the Canadian Forces, and damaged both the domestic and international reputation of Canadian soldiers.

1993 Jun 5, Militiamen loyal to Mohamed Farrah Aidid killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
(AP, 6/5/98)

1993 Jun 11, United Nations forces launched a nighttime attack against the forces of Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
(AP, 6/11/98)

1993 Jun 17, U.N. forces in Somalia searched in vain for warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
(AP, 6/17/98)

1993 Jul 12, In Somalia a mob avenging a deadly United Nations attack on the compound of Mohamed Farrah Aidid killed Dan Eldon (22), a US photo-journalist working for Reuters, and three colleagues. They were stoned and beaten to death at the scene of a bombing by UN forces of a house believed to be the headquarters of Gen’l. Aidid.
(SFEM,11/16/97, p.30)(AP, 7/12/98)

1993 Aug 8, Four U.S. soldiers were killed when a land mine was detonated underneath their vehicle. This prompted President Clinton to order Army Rangers to try to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
(AP, 8/8/98)

1993 Sep 5, Seven Nigerian soldiers were killed in a militia ambush in Somalia as they went to the aid of other UN peacekeepers surrounded by a stone-throwing mob.
(AP, 9/5/98)

1993 Sep 9, About a hundred Somali gunmen and civilians were killed when U.S. and Pakistani peacekeepers fired on Somalis attacking other peacekeepers.
(AP, 9/9/98)

1993 Sep 25, Three U.S. soldiers in Somalia were killed when their helicopter was downed by a rocket-propelled grenade.
(AP, 9/25/98)

1993 Oct 3, Eighteen US Rangers and Delta Force specialists died in a botched raid in Somalia and over 70 were wounded. In 1999 Mark Bowden published “Black Hawk Dawn,” an account of the failed attempt to capture Mohammed Farrah Aidid. At least 500 Somalis were killed and 1,000 injured.
(WSJ, 10/23/95, p.A-18)(WSJ, 3/11/99, p.A20)(SFEC, 3/28/99, BR p.3)(SSFC, 12/16/01, p.A1)

1993 Oct 4, US troops blasted their way out of Bakara Market in Mogadishu and left an estimated 500 Somalis dead. Dozens of cheering, dancing Somalis dragged the body of an American soldier through the streets of Mogadishu.
(SFC, 5/6/99, p.E4)(AP, 10/4/98)

1993 Oct 7, President Clinton ordered more troops, heavy armor and naval firepower to Somalia, but also announced he would pull out all Americans by the end of March 1994.
(AP, 10/7/98)

1993 Oct 9, Special U.S. envoy Robert Oakley traveled to Somalia in an attempt to revive a tentative peace agreement reached by Somali clan leaders.
(AP, 10/9/98)

1993 Oct 10, Thousands of Somalis demonstrated in the capital of Mogadishu to support warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid, an event that coincided with the arrival of special U.S. envoy Robert Oakley.
(AP, 10/10/98)

1993 Oct 14, U.S. helicopter pilot Michael Durant and a Nigerian peacekeeper were freed by Somali fighters loyal to Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
(AP, 10/14/98)

1993 Osama Bin Laden was suspected of supplying weapons to shoot down American helicopters.
(SFC, 8/17/98, p.A12)

1993 Muhammad Atef, a top Osama bin Laden lieutenant, and 6 other al Qaeda operatives, set up training camps in Somalia to help Somali tribes oppose a UN peacekeeping operation.
(SSFC, 9/30/01, p.A13)

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1994 Jan 31, A convoy of U.S. soldiers opened fire on hundreds of Somali civilians outside a food distribution center, killing at least eight.
(AP, 1/31/99)

1994 Mar 20, Ilaria Alpi (32), Italian journalist, was shot and killed in Somalia along with her cameraman, Miran Hrovatin, on the same day that Italian troops left the country. She had collected evidence of brutality by Italian officers against Somalis along with evidence of illegal gun-running.
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A8)

1994 Mar 25, American troops completed their withdrawal from Somalia following a largely unsuccessful fifteen-month mission. 20,000 U.N. troops were left behind to keep the peace and facilitate “nation building.”
(AP, 3/25/99)

1994 The laying of mines rose to new heights of terror as civilian areas were deliberately targeted. Truck loads of mines were scattered in houses, wells, river-crossings, markets, and even cemeteries.
(UNICEFF Mailer,11/94)

1995 Feb 20, An American Marine, Sgt. Justin A. Harris, died in a helicopter crash during the evacuation of United Nations forces from Somalia.
(AP, 2/20/00)

1995 Mar 1, Somalia militiamen loyal to warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid seized control of the Mogadishu airport after peacekeepers withdrew.
(AP, 3/1/00)

1995 Mar 2, The last U.N. peacekeepers in Somalia were evacuated.
(AP, 3/2/00)

1995 Mohamed Farak Aidid declared himself to be president.
(SFEC, 8/31/97, Par p.16)
1995 In Kenya the three Somali clans in the Wajir district — the Ajuran, Ogaden and Degodia, settled their differences in a peace agreement that led to the formation of the Wajir Peace and Development Committee.
{Kenya, Somalia}
(SFC,12/23/97, p.D2)

1996 Apr 5, Heavy fighting in Mogadishu, Somalia, left 75 people dead after peace talks broke down between clan leaders Mohamed Farak Aidid and his former backer, Osman Hassan Ali Atto.
(SFC, 4/6/96, p.D-2)

1996 Aug 12, It was reported that 2 Ethiopian businessmen were killed in retaliation for an incursion into Somalia by Ethiopia’s army.
(WSJ, 8/12/96, p.A1)

1996 Aug 1, In Somalia Mohamed Farrah Aidid died from wounds in a gun battle with a faction headed by his brother. General Muhammad Aideed (Mohamed Aidid) had employed a printing press to reproduce the country’s 1,000 shillings note. The value of the note fell from $.13 to $.03, or about the cost of producing an additional note. Forging stopped as the profit margin disappeared.
(www.cnn.com/WORLD/9608/02/aideed/)(Econ, 4/21/12, p.22)

1996 Aug 2, Mohamed Farrah Aidid was buried after dying from wounds received during fighting in Mogadishu. Followers named his son, Hussein, as their new leader.
(WSJ, 8/5/96, p.A1)

1996 Sep 23, Ethiopian forces exchanged fire with Somali militiamen.
(SFC, 9/25/96, p.A10)

1996 Oct 16, An agreement was reached by faction leaders Hussein Aidid, Ali Mahdi Mohamed and Ali Hassan Osman Atto, to implement a peace accord.
(SFC, 10/17/96, A11)

1996 Dec 17, Militia fighters of Ali Mahdi Mohamed attacked the headquarters of Hussein Aidid in the 5th consecutive day of fighting that brought the number of dead up to 135.
(SFC, 12/18/96, p.C1)

1997 Jul 3, A Canadian commission established to review the actions of peace-keeping troops in Somalia between 1992-93 concluded that the troops were unprepared and victimized by commanders who ignored problems that escalated to torture and the killing of a Somali teenager.
(SFC, 7/3/97, p.C2)

1997 Nov 10, A month of rains blamed on El Nino caused flooding in the Juba River Valley and left some 800,000 people homeless and at least 23 dead. The death toll increased to 564.
(WSJ, 11/10/97, p.A1)(SFC,11/14/97, p.D3)

1997 Nov 15, In East Africa it was reported that storms over the past three weeks have killed at least 1000 people in Ethiopia and in Somalia and left some 100,000 families displaced and in competition with crocodiles and hippos for dry land.
(SFC,11/15/97, p.A3)

1997 Nov 21, Five UN and European aid workers were kidnapped by fighters of the Wasangeli subclan in apparent retaliation for the seizure of a Palestinian businessman by a rival subclan, the Marjeteen, earlier in the day.
(SFC,11/24/97, p.A12)

1997 Nov 22, The Marjeteen attacked the Wasangeli and 2 fighters on each side were killed.
(SFC,11/24/97, p.A11)

1997 Nov 23, Somali villagers isolated for weeks by flooding finally received aid from boats traveling down the Juba river.
(AP, 11/23/02)

1997 Nov 24, All hostages were released by the rival Marjeteen and Wasangeli militiamen.
(SFC,11/24/97, p.A11)

1997 Dec 8, Doctors reported that 31 children had died of cholera in recent days and that medicine was needed to prevent an epidemic.
(SFC,12/9/97, p.B10)

1997 Dec 22, Leaders of the rival factions approved a plan to restore national government. An interim government was planned with power shared among the factions.
(SFC,12/23/97, p.D2)

1998 Jan 4, Some 60,000 Somalis gathered in Mogadishu to celebrate the peace accord. The top 3 warlords promised to open the seaport and airport.
(WSJ, 2/5/98, p.A1)

1998 Mar 26, A boatload of Somali refugees sank off the coast of Yemen and killed 180 of 188 people.
(SFC, 4/1/98, p.A10)

1998 Mar 29, Factional fighting killed 13 people in Hobyo, 2 days before a national reconciliation conference.
(WSJ, 3/30/98, p.A1)

1998 Mar 30, Ali Mohamed Mahdi and Hussein Mohamed Aidid agreed to a joint administration for Mogadishu after 7 years of fighting. 30 people were killed as rival clans clashed in Kismayu.
(SFC, 3/31/98, p.B3)

1998 Apr 15, Ten aid workers were kidnapped in Mogadishu.
(WSJ, 4/16/98, p.A1)

1998 Apr 24, The kidnapped aid workers were released.
(SFC, 4/25/98, p.A9)

1998 May 8, Fighting in Kismayo between rival militias left 23 dead and 30 wounded.
(SFC, 5/9/98, p.A12)

1998 Nov 21, It was reported the in Somalia African honey bees killed 7 people near the village of Tikhsile as they searched for food for their livestock.
(SFC, 11/21/98, p.A6)

1998 Dec 8, At least 18 people were killed and 30 wounded in clashes between 2 rival clans in Baidoa.
(SFC, 12/9/98, p.B8)

1998 Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller authored “Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad.” It was the story of Dirie and her flight from an arranged marriage to become a supermodel.
(SFEC, 12/12/98, BR p.6)

1998 Nurrudin Farah published his novel “Secrets” set amid the strife of the current civil war. It was part of a trilogy that included “Maps” and “Gifts.” Mr. Farah won the Neustadt Int’l. Prize for Literature this same year. He was exiled some 20 years earlier from Somalia following the publication of his novel “Sweet and Sour Milk.”
(SFEC, 7/5/98, BR p.4)(WSJ, 9/10/99, p.W6)

1998 Abdulahhi Yusuf (Yussuf) was elected by elders in Puntland. Yusuf was later challenged by Jama Ali Jama.
(SSFC, 1/6/02, p.A7)

1999 Feb 15, It was reported that cholera in Bandera, Somalia, has killed at least 60 people and infected over 250.
(WSJ, 2/16/99, p.A1)

1999 Feb 23, Militiamen loyal to Hussein Aidid reported that they had killed 60 civilians in the Baidoa town and the village of Daynunay.
(SFC, 2/24/99, p.C3)

1999 Jun 28, Ethiopian forces captured the regional capital of Garba Harre, 250 miles northwest of Mogadishu.
(SFC, 6/29/99, p.A9)

1999 Aug 12, Ethiopia claimed to have almost eliminated 3 rebel groups based in Somalia which it said were supported by Eritrea. Most of the 1,103 killed or captured rebels were of the Oromo Liberation Front.
(SFC, 8/13/99, p.D2)

1999 Aug 31, Clan gunmen killed 14 people and wounded 20 in a bus attack outside Mogadishu.
(SFC, 9/1/99, p.A16)

1999 In Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud helped found the Somali Institute of Management and Administration Development to train administrators and technicians to help rebuild Somalia.
(AP, 9/10/12)


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