UNOSOM II was established in accordance with Security Council resolution 814 (1993) of 26 March 1993, to take over from the Unified Task Force (UNITAF). [UNITAF was a multinational force, organized and led by the United States, which, in December 1992, had been authorized by the Security Council to use "all necessary means" to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia.]

The mandate of UNOSOM II was to take appropriate action, including enforcement measures, to establish throughout Somalia a secure environment for humanitarian assistance. To that end, UNOSOM II was to complete, through disarmament and reconciliation, the task begun by UNITAF for the restoration of peace, stability, law and order. Its main responsibilities included:

  • monitoring that all factions continued to respect the cessation of hostilities and other agreements to which they had consented;
  • preventing any resumption of violence and, if necessary, taking appropriate action;
  • maintaining control of the heavy weapons of the organized factions which would have been brought under international control;
  • seizing the small arms of all unauthorized armed elements;
  • securing all ports, airports and lines of communications required for the delivery of humanitarian assistance;
  • protecting the personnel, installations and equipment of the United Nations and its agencies, ICRC as well as NGOs;
  • continuing mine-clearing, and;
  • assisting in repatriation of refugees and displaced persons in Somalia.

In resolution 814 (1993), the Council also requested the Secretary-General, with assistance from all United Nations entities, offices and specialized agencies, to provide humanitarian and other assistance to the people of Somalia in rehabilitating their political institutions and economy and promoting political settlement and national reconciliation. The assistance included repatriation of refugees and displaced persons within Somalia, the reestablishment of national and regional institutions and civil administration in the entire country, the re-establishment of Somali police, and mine-clearance.

On 6 June 1993, gravely alarmed at the premeditated armed attacks launched by Somali militiamen against the personnel of UNOSOM II on 5 June 1993, the Security Council, by its resolution 837 (1993), reaffirmed that the Secretary-General was authorized under resolution 814 (1993) to take all necessary measures against all those responsible for such attacks, including against those responsible for publicly inciting such attacks, to establish the effective authority of UNOSOM II throughout Somalia, including to secure the investigation of their actions and their arrest and detention for prosecution, trial and punishment.

On 4 February 1994, the Security Council, by its resolution 897 (1994) revised UNOSOM II's mandate to exclude the use of coercive methods. The revised mandate included:

  • assisting the Somali parties in implementing the “Addis Ababa Agreements”, particularly in their cooperative disarmament and ceasefire efforts; protecting major ports, airports and essential infrastructure;
  • providing humanitarian relief to all in need throughout the country;
  • assisting in the reorganization of the Somali police and judicial system;
  • helping repatriate and resettle refugees and displaced people;
  • assisting the political process in Somalia; and
  • protecting the personnel, installations and equipment of the United Nations and its agencies as well as of NGOs providing humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.

UNOSOM II was withdrawn from Somalia in early March 1995.


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