Somalia was struck by a famine of staggering proportions which was made worse by the fact that militia leaders were stealing foreign aid that was shipped from other nations.
The Canadian military was part of a UN humanitarian peacekeeping mission to ensure food and medical supplies got to desperate Somali’s. Canada’s elite Airborne Regiment was deployed as part of the mission in December 1992 and within months would become involved in one of Canada’s ugliest moments in history.
In March 1993, a 16-year-old Somali boy was beaten and tortured to death after he was caught by soldiers sneaking into a military compound. Soldiers took photos posing with Shidane Arone after he had been brutalized for hours.
The same regiment would come under fire two years later when homemade videos were released to the media which showed Airborne Commandos making racists remarks and taking part in a disturbing hazing ceremony.
On this episode, host Kathy Kenzora, looks back at these events as well as the court martials and public inquiry that followed what has become known as the Somalia Affair.
To read more about the report mentioned in this episode entitled, Dishonoured Legacy: The Lessons of the Somalia Affair: Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia follow this link:
Scott Taylor, editor and publisher of Esprit de Corps magazine