Directorate Of Intelligence
Office of African and Latin American Analysis3
Somalia: Dealing with Aicleed
Although Somali warlord General Aidecd has suffered serious setbacksesult of UN military operations, he believes he can bleed UN forces with srnall-scale attacks and ultimately face down UNOSOM (United'Nations Operationis military capability is limited but sufficient to maintain low-level sniping and hit-and-run attacks indefinitely if he is not arrested or driven from the capital. The longer he remains at large and continues harassing UN personnel, the better his chances of intimidating UN officials and coercing Somali civilians into acceding to his quest for power. Leaders of other factions in Mogadishu and outside the capital generally hope the UN defeats Aidecd, but they are awaiting the outcome of the conflict cautiously and will almost certainly question the UN's competence and resolve if Aidecd is not dealt with quickly and decisively.!
Recent attacks against UNOSOM forces in Mogadishuan
upsurge in clan warfare have focused attention on warlord General Aideed. Thisuestion snd answer format-briefly outlines Aideed's tactics, strategies, and capabilities to undermine UNOSOM's ability to fulfill its multiple missions.
What is Aldeed's Strategy? What Does he Want?
In our judgment, Aideed hopes toramatic political victory over the UN by escalating violence In Mogadishuevel that forces UNOSOM either to negotiate with him to end the fighting, soajor troop contributor, like Pakistan, that it withdraws, or causes the UN to abandon military operations in the capital altogether. Facing politicalrimarilyN-sponsored reconciliation process has limited his ability to use violence and lnumidaaon to gamer support, he has launched this desperate effort to restore his reputation for ruthlessness at the expense of UNOSOM. The longer he Is able to pursue this campaign, the greater his chance of bolstering his warlord credentials, gaining renewed support among Somalia's gunmen, and frightening into renewed submission the traditional leaders, intellectuals, women, and other groups that the UN has sought to empower.'
What Is Aldeed's Capability to Disrupt UNOSOM Operations?
Aideed does not have sufficient forces in Mogadishu to launch large-scalermed fighters
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In the capital are capable only of guerrilla style harassment operations. Nevertheless, they have conducted numerous sniper attacks and hii-ind-:un raids in recent weeks, including (he murderomali employees of the UN-run newspaperuly. Since UNOSOM assumed controlS-led UNITAF coalnon In May.N soldiers
have been killedounded in action. AicUed canh*lt UNand humanitarian operations in Mogadishu as long as he remains atcore leadership of his facticn--to coordinate these harassing actions. Ifefensive
Triligliiy-clWIiVe uTo&rTTnlurgerrcy thai UNOSOM would have difficulty rooting out
How Do Other Faction Leaders View UNOSOM's Conflict With Aideed?
We believe continuation of the conflict between Aideed and UNOSOM appreciably increases the risk of renewed clan warfare in Mogadishu. UNOSOM risks becoming mired in focdonal disputes and hostage to banditry and feuding mililias-much as members If UNOSOMan Pakistani baittfllnn became virtual prisoners in Mogadishu last year.
In our judgment. Somalia's other warlords havewai: and see"Aiqeod'i conflict with UNOSOM.
Outside the capital, clan conflicts have subsided for the time being, but there, too, factional lenders appear to be awaiting the outcome of UNOSOM's fight with Aideed,
- If UNOSOM prevails, Aideed is arrested, and his military capability broken, and-Aideed warlords like Generals Morgan and Hashi Oanni would doubtless seek to grab former Aideed-con trolled territory. Aideed allies--especially Omar Jess-would scramble to find new associates or may even be forced to flee to the countryside and revert to banditry as they attempt to regroup. Crime and factional disputes wouldroblem, but UNOSOM would almost certainly enjoy greater leverage and could expect improved cooperation in areas where UNOSOM forces are operating.
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If (he threat from Aideed is not dealt with quickly-either by arresting him orfrom the capital-UNOSOM's credibilityeacemaking force could beIn our judgment. Self-preservation alone would convincethat they had to take up arms again. At the tame time, factionswould resume efforts to intimidate UN forces and manipulate theprocess.
Will Arresting Aideed End (he Threat?
In our judgment, arresting Aideed offers UNOSOM's best opportunity to restore credibility to the UN peacemaking mission in Somalia. There are. however, significant risks associated with capturing Aideed. Although most Somalis support UNOSOM's efforts to arrest Aidecd. his detention would almost certainly spark violent demonstralions in his southern Mogadishu enclave-where most UN offices and UNOSOM headquarters are located. If UN troops are forcedloody fuefiglu during detention operations or appear ineffective by allowing him to slipigh-visibility manhunt, popular support for his anti-UN campaign might swell significantly. Even if Aideed Is captured, poor management of bis incarceration and trial could fuel tabor violence We believe, for example that bringing Aidecd before an international tribunal and charging him with crimes against humanity risksacklash among xenophobic Somalis. Sporadic, anti-UN protests would also likely result If Aideed were killed during en arrest attempt, although we believe violence In this event would be disorganized and limitedew Aideed loyalists.
Arresting Aideed will contribute to conflict resolution in Somalia only if it is done in conjunctionroader campaign to jump start political reconciliation. Aidccd's popularity and stature in Somalia have diminished significantly since the UN intervention, and we believe it is unlikely that he could play such action into martyrdom.
his lieutenants, like the wily Osman Alio, almost certainly will try to organise anti-UN and anti-US moves to force Aideed'i release, so many ofactional leaders, traditional elders. Intellectuals, women, and otters have expressed their displeasure with Aideed in recent weeks that, in ourell-orchestrated public relations campaign accompanying such an artest could greatly limit the duration and intensity of any violent backlash.
a potential judicial proceeding on Aideed's crimes againstsuch actions as the recent killing of locals employed by UNOSOM,probablyore responsive chord among Somalishis attacks against Pakistani or Italian
UNOSOM: Building the Tower of Bab*!
UNOSOM not only faces significant security and political challenges posed by Somalia's contentious and warlike factions, but also must grapple with an internal command structure and force composition that are cumbersome and unwieldy. UNOSOM currently includes forces from some twenty nations, and military planning has been hindered by national rivalries and recriminations.
Morale among UNOSOM forces is being poisonedrowing perception that third-world forces are disproportionately assigned combat missions while troops from Western industrialIzed nations are assigned logistical tasks and less-hazardous combat support roles.
- Moroccan forces took heavy casualtiesweyp of Aidecd's headquarters area in mid-June.
Arresting Aideed also risksive of elm-based vendettas against his Habr Ocdir. Habr Gedir leaders have received auurances from UN officials that their clan will not be punished for Aideed'l crimes, but UNOSOM will almost certainly have to make clear to Aidecd's rivals, especially All Mahdi, that vengeance will not be tolerated. In addition, if UNOSOM is to successfullyolitical reconciliation processroad base of Somali society, warlords will have to be disabused of the
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