US forces ready to step up action against Somalis
Saturday 09 January 1993
'We are providing preconditions for us getting involved in confrontations with 'technicals' and gangsters,' General Robert Johnston, the United States commander in Somalia, told an American television network. Technicals are makeshift battlewagons armed with heavy machine-guns, anti-aircraft weapons and recoilless rifles used by the warring factions in Somalia.
'This may be Dodge City, but Wyatt is in town,' Col Mike Hagee of the Directorate of Operations said yesterday.
A 450-marine column entered the 'gun market' in north-eastern Mogadishu yesterday and confiscated 250 rifles, a tank, 10 technicals and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Despite the announcement of the effective closure of the market, the arms the Americans captured yesterday and on Thursday represented a small fraction of the estimated thousands of weapons still in Mogadishu. Some of the weapons at the gun market were turned in in return for bags of rice and wheat, said Col Hagee.
The success of a programme for the voluntary surrender of weapons in the southern port of Kismayu had been 'limited', said Col Hagee, who estimated that 43 guns had been handed in.
The stepped-up US patrols in Mogadishu against arms depots and gunmen have followed sharp criticism from Somalis and international relief agencies of the Americans' failure to pursue disarmament more vigorously. Several foreign aid organisations have said that after a month of Operation Restore Hope, security in some areas of the capital is worse than before the US marines arrived on 9 December.
Gen Johnston, in the television interview, said that intervention forces had succeeded in establishing humanitarian relief sites in Somalia's famine belt in the interior. 'Now we're in phase three,' Gen Johnston said. 'Now we are systematically going after the technicals and the bandits. Now the focus is on eliminating the technicals.'
He predicted more clashes with Somali gunmen because more American forces were patrolling the streets of the capital. 'Especially around Mogadishu, we are now very aggressively patrolling.'
ADDIS ABABA - Somali warring factions reached agreement here yesterday on holding a national reconciliation conference in the Ethiopian capital from 15-18 April, AFP reports.
A member of the delegation of one of the two main warlords, Ali Mahdi Mohamed, said the accord was reached after much international pressure, notably from the United Nations, the US and Ethiopia. The other main warlord, Mohamed Farah Aideed, had been holding out for a ceasefire before agreeing to the date and place where the conference would be held. The source said Gen Aideed had been more conciliatory overnight, especially since US troops attacked his positions on Thursday.
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Ryan Gosling granted temporary restraining order against a woman 'convinced she was his twin flame'
Jennifer Lawrence sings in new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1 clip on YouTube
Mike Nichols dead: The Graduate director dies suddenly following cardiac arrest
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...