There was a food shortage in Somalia and one of the main sources of power was the distribution of food. Food was so scarce that the food convoys were being hijacked by people working for the clan leaders. Over 80% of the food was hijacked and as a result over three hundred thousand Somalis died of starvation. In July 1992 UN observers were sent to Somalia because of a ceasefire agreement signed by opposing clans. In August of the same year, the UN began to supply relief for Somalis but failed because the UN's inability to distribute food and supplies successfully due to lootings. The UN asked for assistance and the U.S. answered by sending twenty-five troops into Somalia. Operation Restore Hope was to "rapidly secure trade routes" in Somalia to ensure the distribution of food. The UN completely took over the operation in March 1993 renaming it UNOSOM II. Their mission was to rebuild Somalia by disarming the Somali people, restoring order, improving the infrastructure and establishing a stable government. When Bill Clinton was inaugurated, he wanted to take some U.S. troops out and replace them with UN troops.
On June 5, 1993 twenty four Pakistani soldiers were killed while inspecting a Somali weapons storage site. The UN responded by trying to find the party responsible for the crime. The UN believed that Mohammed Farah Aidid was to blame and so they ordered the arrest of Aidid and his followers. They even went on to reward anyone $25,000 for any information concerning or leading to Aidid's whereabouts. From June 12 to June 16 UN along with US troops attacked places in Muqdisho that were related to Aidid. On July 12, US Cobra helicopters attacked a house where clan leaders were holding a meeting. In the attack, buildings were destroyed and a lot of Somalis died. This raised the tension between Somalis and Americans. When more Americans were being killed by Somali hands, the US Task Force Rangers were sent in.
The Task Force Rangers were sent in to get Aidid but other plans were being made by President Clinton to negotiate with Aidid. The Rangers raided the Olympic Hotel in Muqdisho in order to find Aidid. This raid led to one of the bloodiest battles in US history, the Battle of Muqdisho. The battle lasted seventeen hours killing nineteen US soldiers and wounding eighty-four others. The exact number has not yet been released but hundreds of Somalis died during the fight, including women and children who got caught in the crossfire. President Clinton withdrew the troops a few days later and the mission to hunt down Aidid was left behind. However, this did not stop the negotiations being made between the US and Somali clan leaders.
Snyder, R. "Operation Restore Hope/Battle of Mogadishu:
Background." Operation Restore
Mogadishu. August 2001. 17 Jul 2006