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U.N. Leader Recommends Ending Somalia Mission

October 17, 1994| Reuters

UNITED NATIONS — Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has recommended ending the ill-starred $1-billion-a-year U.N. operation in Somalia on March 31, but he says the 15,000-strong force will need naval and air reinforcements in case it has to pull out under fire.

"In the worst-case scenario, UNOSOM (U.N. Operation in Somalia) forces would have to withdraw in face of hostile action by Somali factions and/or widespread banditry, which would prevent the use of commercial air and sea transport," he said in a report over the weekend to the Security Council.

"I have accordingly approached several member states who possess the naval and air assets required to reinforce UNOSOM during the critical withdrawal phase, whether or not such withdrawal is carried out under hostile conditions."

Boutros-Ghali said a secure and orderly withdrawal would take between 60 and 120 days, depending on security conditions.

The reinforcements would have to include naval elements with fire support and sea-lift capabilities, as well as military aircraft.

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