History Of UN In Somalia

The United Nations (UN) has played a very pivotal part in the overall economic uplift of Somalia. Somalia has been under siege by the various militant factions for over a decade and no government has been successful in creating and maintaining an infrastructure that harbors education, human growth, food supplies and even the basic necessities that sustain even the most brazen and bare livelihoods. Somalia has been in this moribund state of affair since inception irrespective of the intermittent attempts by foreign agents inclusive of the UN to streamline activity and decrease the level of turmoil and chaos.

Since the inception of Somalia, the human rights of civilians have been violated at all levels. Due to the lack of government involvement and propensity to use power; millions of people in the country alone face abject poverty, famine, malnutrition and diseases. Approximately 30 % of the entire population of Somalia has vanished due to hunger, malnutrition, and starvation alone. These numbers do not take into account the thousands who had died fighting the battles and wars on different fronts in Somalia. In order to address these ongoing social, economical and moral violations that have become a rampant daily routine; the United Nations established (United Nations Mission in Somalia) UNOSOM 1 that assisted in the ceasefire in Mogadishu and escorted the deliveries of humanitarian supplies to various segments of the city. The state of Mogadishu worsened in 1991 after the downfall of the then President Siad Barre. Mogadashu become a central point for fierce fighting among tribal and section militant groups. Intensive fighting took over and 300,000 civilians were proclaimed dead due to the fierce fighting or succumbed to deterioration in health. The United Nations continued its humanitarian efforts in Somalia and, by March 1991, was fully engaged distributing and assisting civilians all over the country. Over the following months, the volatile security situation forced the United Nations on several occasions to temporarily withdraw its personnel from Somalia, but it continued its humanitarian activities to the fullest extent possible, in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The deteriorating and appalling situation in Somalia led the United Nations Secretary-General, in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), to become actively involved with the political elements of the conflict and to press for a peaceful solution to the conflict. Finally, in early January 1992, despite the ongoing political disarray and continuum of fierce fighting, Mr. Jonah led a team of senior United Nations officials into Somalia for talks aimed at bringing about a cessation of hostilities and securing access by the international relief community to civilians caught in the conflict.

Six primal United Nations organizations were set up to work in Somalia and coordinate humanitarian efforts and delivery of goods to the masses. The organizations are the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF, The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), WFP and the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition to these important departments, more than 30 NGOs were set up specifically in various areas to cater to the need and requirements of the people.

UNOSOM II was established in March 1993 to take appropriate action once again against the ongoing fierce fighting and deplorable social and economic conditions of the country, The agenda of UNOSOM II was to establish throughout Somalia a secure environment for humanitarian assistance and to complete, through disarmament and reconciliation, the task begun by the Unified Task Force for the restoration of peace, stability, law and order. UNOSOM II was withdrawn in early March 1995. Even in 2007, the UN is still working closely with the various agencies still deployed in Somalia for the distribution of food and supplies.

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