The city of Mogadishu became overcrowded with refugees during the summer of 1993. This image, maintained by the Library of Congress, depicts a refugee scene during that year.


Operation Restore Hope was meant to help the Somali people get through the famine, anarchy and civil war in their country. Ever since the dictator Siad Barre fell from power in 1991, Somalia had no central government. It still doesn't.

But wheat and other UN-supplied food materials that were sent to the stricken country were used as bargaining chips by rival clan leaders (scroll down 50%) who cared more about fighting each other than feeding starving people. Mohamed Farrah Aidid, the most powerful and popular of the war lords, was Somalia's dominant political leader by 1993. His main base of support was in the southern part of the country, where the capital city of Mogadishu is located.

By the summer of 1993, four American soldiers, who were part of the UN's peacekeeping force, had also been killed by warring factions. Mogadishu, the city on the beautiful  Indian-Ocean coast, had become a dangerous place, overcrowded with refugees from other parts of a war-torn country.

On August 22, seven months after his inauguration, President Clinton had enough. That day he received news of another attack on U.S. military personnel.

The President ordered a Special Operations force to go to Somalia as part of the military's Operation Continue Hope. And on that day, America's mission objective changed. It was no longer just about humanitarian aid.

Within hours, Delta Force commandos from Ft. Bragg and Army Rangers from Ft. Benning were on their way. So was a detachment of helicopters, with their crews, from Ft. Campbell.

The choppers were UH-60s - also called "Black Hawks."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jun 19, 2019

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"MISSION OBJECTIVE" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. May 28, 2020.
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