Operation Solace

Date from 21 December 1992
Date to 21 May 1993
Category Peacekeeping Operation
Conflict Somalia, 1992-1995
Alternative Names
  • Solace

Strength: Approx 1,500. 1 RAR Group +, HQ Australian Forces Somalia (UNITAF), HMAS Tobruk, HMAS Jervis Bay, RAN Clearance Diving Team 1, RAAF elements.

By late 1992, the catastrophic situation in Somalia had outstripped the UN's ability to quickly restore peace and stability, mainly because the UN was hamstrung by insufficient forces and UN peacekeeping principles and methods could not cope with the need to sue force in such complex situations. On 3 December 1992, UN Security Council Resolution 794 authorised a coalition of UN members, under US command, to form UNITAF and intervene to protect the delivery of humanitarian assistance and restore peace. UNITAF was used as an interim force until UNOSOM II came into being.

Australia deployed an Infantry Battalion plus supporting elements, including a Squadron of Armoured Personnel Carriers, HQ Staff, Engineers, Communications and Electronic Warfare Detachments, and Administrative elements; and HMAS Tobruk. The RAAF were also used to move the Australian Forces to and from the Area of Operations from Australia and conducted regular resupply missions.
The Battalion group operated the 17,000 square kilometre Baidoa Humanitarian Relief Sector in southwestern Somalia. The Battalion group was very successful at fostering and protecting humanitarian relief efforts and won widespread international praise for its efforts in restoring law and order and re-establishing functional legal, social and economic systems.
On 2 April 1993, Lance Corporal Shannon McAliney, Royal Australian Infantry, was accidentally shot dead on patrol.
Killed: (1) Lance Corporal Shannon McAliney, RAINF, 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.