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National Archives

Public Papers - 1992 - December

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on Operation Restore Hope

1992-12-08

President Bush is pleased by the success of the initial landing phase of Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. United States forces went ashore at approximately 8:30 p.m. e.s.t., this evening (4:30 a.m. Somali time). This initial phase will focus on establishing secure airport and port facilities. President Bush will be advised of developments in Somalia on a regular basis by his national security staff in the White House Situation Room.

Earlier today the President spoke by telephone with Ambassador Robert Oakley, our special envoy in Somalia. Ambassador Oakley briefed the President on his meetings with relief agency representatives and Somali factional leaders. Ambassador Oakley indicated that the discussions were encouraging. The President also spoke by phone with United Nations Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali and discussed with him the latest developments and plans for the humanitarian effort.

The President met with his national security advisers around 5 p.m. this afternoon for a final update on the status of the coalition preparations. General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Operation Restore Hope was on schedule and proceeding well. The response from other nations to join the coalition has been quite positive. Forces from several countries are being integrated into the overall operation.

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