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Photographs supplied by Peter Williams

The plaque commemorates Australians who served in Somalia as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping operations in 1992 and 1993.

Operation Solace was the Australian Defence Force's main contribution to the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) which was a United States led, United Nations sanctioned, multinational force which operated in the Republic of Somalia from 9 December 1992 to 4 May 1993. Codenamed Operation Restore Hope, UNITAF was charged with carrying out United Nations Security Council Resolution 794: to create a protected environment for conducting humanitarian operations in the southern half of the Republic of Somalia.

Operation Solace centred on the deployment of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) battalion group to Baidoa in south-central Somalia. The 1 RAR battalion group replaced the 3rd Battalion, 9th United States Marine Regiment in Baidoa on 19 January 1993. The Battalion group was successful in improving the security situation and earned the respect of the non-government aid organisations operating in the region. The 1 RAR battalion group left Somalia on 21 May 1993.


Address:11 Murphys Road, Wommin Bay Memorial Walk, Kingscliff, 2487
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -28.234409
Long: 153.565574
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Approx. Event Start Date:1992
Approx. Event End Date:1993


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2014-2015
Front Inscription

(29th November 1992 - 22nd May 1993)

Somalia is found on the horn of Africa. Control of the country in recent times has been by the Arabs, the Persians, the Italians and the British. In 1960 independence was granted by Britain and Italy through the United Nations and the Republic of Somalia was established. The President was assassinated in a military coup in 1969 and the army seized control. War with Ethiopia, civil unrest and a military dictatorship destroyed all civil and administrative functions within the country. By 1990 -1991 the country was in the hands of local warlords/ bandit groups who dominated by terror. Murder, robbery, rape and the rule of the gun were the weapons used. 

The United Nations Security Council resolution 775 proposed the intervention of armed forces to ensure the distribution of humanitarian aid to the population. On the 14th October 1992 the Australian Government committed a Movement Control Unit (MCU) to Mogadishu. The United States (US) committed a task force of 1800 to the Mogadishu area on the 29th November 1992. The United Nations passed another resolution (794) organising a multi-national force lead by the US to intervene in the war torn country and establish order. This was operation " RESTORE HOPE". 1 RAR was officially warned for duty in Somalia on the 17th December 1992. The Battalion group consisted of 653 from 1RAR including 56 soldiers from 2/4RAR elements from 107 Bty 4 Fd Regt, B sqn 3/4 Cav Regt, 17 Fd Tp 3 CER, 103 Sig Sqn, Public Relations, Bn Spt Gp and Div Int. 

Aggressive patrolling and convoy protection during their tour ensured the safe passage of over 400 convoys of essential supplies to the starving population. Contact with the bandits - (war lord forces) was usually fast with the response from the Australians being decisive and deadly. During this time the battalion action resulted in 7 enemy killed, 4 wounded and 70 taken prisoner and handed over to Security Forces. This action also secured 935 weapons and ensured the safe delivery of over 8000 tons of aid supplies. 

The experience of being exposed to the waste of human life, the murder of innocents, the lack of water and sewerage facilities and the total decay of human values was a shock to most. Australia lost one soldier on the operation. 

Returned & Services         FINGAL HEAD PUBLIC SCHOOL 
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Source: DVA, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au