FIRST UNITED NATIONS OPERATION IN SOMALIA (UNOSOM I)

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Operation IGUANA

Australia: 17 Oct 1992 - 4 May 1993 (Australian Contingents 1 + 1 1/2) Deployed

AO: Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti

In late 1990 and throughout 1991, Somalia collapsed into clan warfare and then civil war. As 1992 progressed the civil war worsened and the country effectively ceased to function as an organised nation state. Mass starvation and anarchy followed.

Beginning tentatively in September 1992, the UN stepped in to protect the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to reconstitute Somalia as a functioning political, social and economic entity.

On 15 December 1992, the Government agreed to the deployment of a contingent of Australian Defence Force personnel to Somalia as part of the United Nations peacekeeping efforts in the region. The Government also decided that, for the period of Australia’s contribution to the United Nations operations, Somalia would be designated as an operational area for the purposes of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act and that operational service in Somalia would also be designated as “qualifying service”. The significance of declaring the area as an operational area is that it will provide for entitlement in respect of incapacity or death arising out of that service to be determined on the more generous standard of proof. “Qualifying service” gives rise to entitlement to service pension, provided all the other conditions relating to the payment of service pension are met. On 20 October 1992, the ADF MovCon Unit (MCU) arrived in Somalia to assist UNOSOM I cope with the influx of assigned forces. The original 36 members of MovCon and the advance party of 5 pers transitioned to UNOSOM II. The 36 MovCon pers were repatriated to Australia on 8 Jul 1993 and replaced by ASC 2. UNOSOM I was not replaced by UNITAF (Op SOLACE). They were parallel operations.

Deployed: 36 - Movement Control Unit (MovCon) from the three services.

Augmentation: 5 pers - Advance party for HQ UNOSOM II arrive in Mar 1993.

Total Pers: 41 (ASC 1 + 1 1/2)

VEA: Schedule 3

Awards: Australian Service Medal (ASM) with Clasp 'SOMALIA' - 30 days ; UNOSOM Medal - 90 days.

ASM 1988
ASM with Clasp
'SOMALIA'
UNOSOM Medal