December 16, 1992 – The view from Somalia. As US troops landed in the war-torn town of Baidoa, and together with UN Peacekeepers began the process of delivering food supplies to starving locals. Fears of resistance quickly melted and the job of bringing aid took over. By Helicopter and convoy, U.S. and French troops moved into Baidoa, which had been considered Somalia’s version of Dodge City. But within 40 declared the town secure. The Soldiers were a welcome relief to besieged relief workers who had been struggling amid the chaotic situation, and the Marines were immersed in a sea of smiles.
After securing the airport and setting up camp, the troops paid a visit on the various relief agencies with the goal of coordinating activities so they could immediately begin escorting convoys of food for distribution. And at news time, they had already distributed one so far, a delivery to an orphanage in Baidoa and were readying a second convoy the following day.
In Mogadishu, the UN had flown in a fleet of tractor-trailers trucks to haul food to Baidoa, bypassing a price-gouging Somali firm controlled by warlord Muhammed Aidid.
The insanity of the situation was clearly apparent in the Southern Somali city of Baidair. An aid worker said that, when gunmen found no food to steal the previous day at a feeding center, they started shooting; killing 10 starving people and wounding 10 others. Everybody had their work cut out for them.
Meanwhile, the question of what to do about the ruins of the former Yugoslavia was the dominant topic of conversation at a meeting of 29 nations in Geneva. U.S. Secretary of State Eagleburger favored Western air-cover over Bosnia a war crimes tribunal for ethnic cleansers. He suggested that pseudo-indictments might be near. Many expected one of those indicted would be Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, seen as the main cheerleader for Bosnian Serbs carrying out various atrocities.
And 19 UN Peacekeepers were seized by Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, while they were checking on two other peacekeepers who were also seized and being held hostage.
And that’s just a small slice of what went, this busy and somewhat chaotic December 16, 1992 – as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.