JC History Tuition Online - What did the UN do to help Somalia - UN Notes 2

What did the UN do to help Somalia?

Topic of Study [For H1/H2 History Students]:
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 2: Political Effectiveness of the UN in maintaining international peace and security

Historical Context: The rise and fall of Siad Barre
After a ten-year transition period under a United Nations (UN) Trusteeship in the 1950s, Somalia gained independence. From 1960 to 1969, Somalia was led by multi-party system. In 1969, Major General Mohamed Siad Barre became President after a bloodless coup.

Under the Cold War context, Somalia had received Soviet military and financial aid. Yet, the Soviet Union disapproved Barre’s decision to launch an invasion of Ethiopia in July 1977, which was known as the Ogaden War. The war concluded with Somali defeat in March 1978 as well as the termination of Soviet aid.

The Ogaden War had a profound effect on international relations in the Horn of Africa. Russia and Cuba withdrew from the long-standing military and naval bases they had helped build in Somalia, and relocated to what was then the Red Sea coastline of Ethiopia (now Eritrea). As a result, Siad Barre switched allegiance to the West, making his first visit to the USA in 1982 […].

An excerpt taken from “Somaliland: with Addis Ababa & Eastern Ethiopia” by Philip Briggs.

In addition, the Barre government had to contend with clan-based rebellions that lasted throughout the 1980s. By then, more Somalis became disillusioned with a military dictatorship under Barre. The rebellions began with a failed coup attempt in April 1978, which were carried out by disgruntled army officers led by Colonel Mohamed Osman Irro.

By late 1990, the United Somali Congress (USC) launched an offensive on the capital Mogadishu, thus forcing Barre to flee in January 1991.

Enter the United Nations: UNOSOM
After Barre’s self-imposed exile, a civil war broke out between two factions: one that backed the Interim President Ali Mahdi Mohamed and another that supported General Mohamed Farah Aidid. In hopes of brokering peace between the factions, the Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar dispatched a UN envoy, James Jonah.

More importantly, many Somali civilians’ lives were undermined by the civil war, thus necessitating humanitarian intervention. By November 1991, about 300,000 people died. Many suffered from malnutrition and other related diseases. Also, a million Somalis fled their homes, giving rise to a refugee crisis.

On 3 March 1992, leaders of both competing factions (Mahdi and Aidid) signed a ceasefire agreement (“Agreement on the Implementation of a Ceasefire”), which granted consent for the UN to deploy military observers to oversee the process.

On 24 April 1992, the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 751, which authorised the deployment of the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). UNOSOM was tasked to distribute food supplies to the Somali civilians with the help of other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). However, its relief efforts were hampered by the absence of security, which gave rise to looting by armed gangs.

However, humanitarian aid was preyed upon by a mixture of the warring factions and unaffiliated bandits. The militia leaders used food to pay their fighters and buy weapons that allowed them to extend their control and subsequently their access to wealth. […] Khalil Dale, a British Red Cross worker, recalled:

I’ve been to Afghanistan, two or three times. I’ve been to Sudan, I’ve been to a lot of war zones and famine camps and cholera camps. But I’ve never seen anything like Somalia was at that time. And it was certainly the most frightening place for me, it was the most insecure, unpredictable. You just didn’t know what was going to happen next.

An excerpt taken from “Soldiers and Civil Power: Supporting or Substituting Civil Authorities in Modern Peace Operations” by Thijs Brocades Zaalberg.

General Aidid held dominant control of strategic locations where most of the food aid had arrived from abroad, namely the port and airfield. The problem was so serious that the ICRC had to employ nearly 20,000 armed guards to protect their personnel from looters.

Help is on the way: United Task Force
Frustrated by the lack of progress, the Bush administration supported the UNSC’s resolution to authorise an American-led force to establish a “secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia”. On 9 December 1992, Operation Restore Hope was conducted by the US government under the United Task Force (UNITAF).

Out of the 38,000 troops deployed, 24,000 were American, reflecting the commitment of the US government to support the UN’s humanitarian intervention in Somalia. Between December 1992 and May 1993, the UNITAF secured nine humanitarian relief sectors, thus enabling the resumption of humanitarian aid to the Somali civilians.

Providing security relief operations was obviously a success. By late December and early January there was consensus worldwide that the US-led intervention enabled the relief organization to deliver much-needed supplies much more effectively. As a result, many thousands of lives were saved. […]

According to the official US Army After Action Report of the Somalia mission, the Bush administration recognized that lasting peace in Somalia could only be achieved by disarming the warlords, reconciliation and assisting in the restoration of law and order and societal infrastructure.

An excerpt taken from “Soldiers and Civil Power: Supporting or Substituting Civil Authorities in Modern Peace Operations” by Thijs Brocades Zaalberg.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the failures of the United Nations mission in Somalia were expected?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the United Nations. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition and JC Chemistry Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - How did ASEAN promote economic growth in the 1970s 3

How did ASEAN promote economic growth in the 1970s?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN Growth and Development of ASEAN: Promoting regional economic cooperation

How it all began: ASEAN Declaration
On 8 August 1967, five Southeast Asian nations signed the ASEAN Declaration in Bangkok to officiate the creation of a regional association. Within the Declaration, three out of seven objectives related to economic development.

For instance, the fifth objective states that member nations were to “collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade”.

In the late 1960s, most member states of ASEAN were largely reliant on primary products. Malaysia was a key exporter of tin, natural rubber and palm oil. Thailand specialised in the production of tapioca and rice. Yet, regional economic cooperation was not at the top of the priority list, since the main export markets for the above products were outside ASEAN. This could be the result of differing stages of economic development among the ASEAN-5.

The ASEAN economies exhibit a mixture of the characteristics of the economies of the ‘North’ and the ‘South’. There is, on the one hand, the highly industrialised, affluent and small economy of Singapore, while on the other large, less affluent and rather dualistic economies of Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. Then there is Malaysia which is medium-size, natural resource rich and relatively affluent; […]

Singapore, with its policy of virtually free trade, is already well-integrated with the rest of the world, while Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand – all seeking to industrialise themselves – have high tariff and other trade barriers. Malaysia’s industrialisation strategy is also based on restricted trade, but the degree of such restrictions is lower. Given this mixture of structural characteristics, policies of trade liberalisation cannot be successful without greater co-ordination of industrial strategies of the member countries.

An excerpt taken from “ASEAN Into the 1990s” by Alison Broinowski.

Oil Shocks and The Bali Summit
The first oil crisis of 1973 had adversely affected oil-importing nations, such as Thailand and the Philippines. In addition, price fluctuations in the world markets made the attainment of economic growth unsustainable. ASEAN members began to contemplate on the need for a regional market to sustain industrialisation.

As such, Indonesian ministers (such as Widjojo Nitisastro) under Suharto’s leadership invited ASEAN leaders to attend a gathering in Jakarta in November 1975. This ‘Meeting of ASEAN Economic and Planning Ministers’ set the stage for the first ASEAN Summit in Bali in February 1976.

From the economic standpoint, the Bali Summit concluded with the signing of the ASEAN Concord. In consideration of the challenges posed by external shocks, the Concord sought to address the risk of supply shortages for food and energy.

One key initiative was the ASEAN Industrial Projects (AIPs) that required each member state to lead a joint venture with other members. The AIPs sought to address the lack of complementariness between ASEAN economies, thus facilitating economic integration. It was estimated that each project required an investment of up to US$300 million.

However, not all member states expressed enthusiasm towards the projects.

According to Widjojo Nitisastro, Indonesia had resisted all notions of trade liberalization and regional economic integration. Indonesia, he said, was more concerned with food, as well as energy, security and with the establishment of large-scale industrial projects. Widjojo believed that, if a country felt that trade liberalization was good for it, it would open up trade unilaterally anyway.

An excerpt taken from “Southeast Asia in Search of an ASEAN Community: Insights from the Former ASEAN Secretary-general” by Rodolfo Severino.

Musings of an ASEAN Free Trade Area
Yet, the attempts to promote regional economic cooperation in the 1960s and 1970s were arguably disappointing, given that intra-ASEAN trade levels remained low. In the case of the AIPs, only two out of five projects were implemented, namely the urea projects under Malaysia and Indonesia. The rest were eventually withdrawn.

During the 13th ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting in May 1982, the Philippine President Marcos raised the notion of a free trade regime involving ASEAN members, which was later established a decade later.

Six years have now passed since we inaugurated in Bali, Indonesia a broad and ambitious program for regional cooperation in our part of Asia, which dramatically transformed the character of our association of Southeast Asian nations and has since riveted the attention of our peoples and governments on the tasks of making regional community possible and real in our part of the world.

[…] If free trade is a goal which commends itself to the other ASEAN member-governments, then we should lose no time in so resolving that it is. Establishing a free trade regime is an enormous undertaking, requiring a great deal of preparation and lead time. If we resolve today to establish it, perhaps we should need all of the next ten years to stage it.

An excerpt taken from the “Address of President Marcos at the 13th Meeting of the ASEAN Economic Ministers“, 20 May 1982.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that ASEAN was effective in promoting regional economic cooperation in the 1970s and 1980s.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about ASEAN. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition and JC Chemistry Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.