The United Nations Operation in Somalia was established by General Assembly Resolution 751 in April of 1992.


The UNOSOM was established to support peacekeeping missions in Somalia. In accordance with the agreements reached with the two main Somali factions in Mogadishu, a cease-fire in the capital was to be monitored by a group of fifty unarmed uniformed United Nations military observers. The observers were to be deployed along the demarcation line separating Mogadishu into two zones. As for humanitarian asistance, the security personnel envisaged in the agreement were to provide protection and security for UN personnel, equipment and supplies at the port of Mogadishu and to escort deliveries of humanitarian supplies from there to distribution centers in the city and its immediate environs. They were also to provide security for UN personnel, equipment and supplies at the airport in Mogadishu. They were to provide UN convoys of relief supplies with a sufficient ly strong military escort to deter attack and were authorized to fire in self-defense as a last resort if deterrence should not prove effective.

On August 28, 1992 the Security Council, by its Resolution 775, authorized an increase in strength of UNOSOM of four additional UN security units for the protection of the humanitarian convoys and distribution centers throughout Somalia. Several of the Somali de facto authorities refused to agree to the deployment of UN troops, and as a result only one battalion of military observers was deployed to Mogadishu. Relief ships were blocked from docking and some were shelled. Air and sea ports came under fire, resulting in non-delivery of relief supplies to areas where the need was the most acute.

On December 3, 1992 the Security Council authorized the use of all necesary means to establish a secure environment as soon as possible for humanitarian and relief operations in Somalia. The first elements of the United Task Force spearheaded by the United States were deployed in Mogadishu on December 9, 1992. Once their task was accomplished, the military command was handed over to the United Nations. Meanwhile, UNOSOM remained fully responsible for the political aspects and humanitarian assistance to Somalia.


Eligibility for this medal extended from 1992 to March 30, 1995.


The United Nations Medal with this ribbon design was awarded to personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States who served for a period of not less than six months


The design of the medal was specified by the United Nations.


The order of precedence for wearing the United Nations Medal is set by the national government of the recipients. In the case of the United States, this medal is worn after the UN Korean Medal and before the NATO Medal for "Former Yugoslavia."


Additional awards of any United Nations medal are denoted by bronze stars.


The is the standard United Nations medal. The emblem of the United Nations is shown in the center of a bronze medallion. Above this emblem are the letters UN in the twelve o'clock position.


The reverse bears the inscription IN THE SERVICE / OF PEACE in two lines in the center of the medal.


The background of this ribbon is buff (symbolizing the desert), with a center stripe of United Nations blue flanked by narrow stripes of dark green (symbolizing hope).


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