1994: Somalia Inquiry to investigate Canadian military scandal
Canadian peacemakers were lauded as heroes when they went into an untamed land ruled by rebels. Their mission, Operation Deliverance, charged them with restoring order in Somalia. But in fact, the Canadian Airborne regiment was splitting apart at the seams, lacking both leadership and accountability. Murder after murder, the troops came home disgraced. Tracks were covered and responsibility shifted up and down the chain of command during an investigation that would dismantle the army and implicate the government in a high-level cover-up.
Army surgeon Dr. Barry Armstrong is largely responsible for the inquiry. He went public with allegations of organized cover-ups involving Canadians abusing Somalis. Defence Minister David Collenette admits that an inquiry would have eventually been called, but not this soon, without Armstrong's public allegations.
• Canadian soldiers shot two civilians in Somalia in 1993, killing one and wounding the other. Twelve days later, 16-year-old Shidane Arone was tortured and killed. "Trophy" photos were taken and eventually ended up on the news, shocking the Canadian public.
• One of the two soldiers most directly involved in the incident, Clayton Matchee, was found unfit for trial after trying to hang himself and suffering brain damage. The other soldier, Pvt. Kyle Brown, was found guilty and sentenced to five years in military prison.
• The Report of the Somalia Commission of Inquiry was delivered to the government at the end of June, 1997. It concluded that there was indeed a cover-up in the shooting death of a Somali citizen in March 1993.
Program: Prime Time News
Broadcast Date: Nov. 17, 1994
Guests: Barry Armstrong, David Collinette, Stephen Harper
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Susan Harada
Last updated: October 21, 2014
Page consulted on October 21, 2014
All Clips from this Topic
"They're slobs and they stink," says one candid Airborne soldier about...
"We promised them peacekeepers, and in some cases, we sent them thugs,...
On the first day of the inquiry, the Somali community comes forward wi...
Officers search for missing documents related to the Somalia affair.
Gen. Jean Boyle admits to misleading the press at the Somalia inquiry.
"Macho thuggery," scapegoating, blockading requests for information, a...
Lt.-Col Carol Mathieu defends the Airborne regiment.
The Somalia Inquiry hears that military police were deliberately stall...
Maj. Barry Armstrong testifies at the Somalia Inquiry.
The Somalia inquiry releases its final report and says the debacle was...
Canadian peacemakers were lauded as heroes when they went into an unta...
Allegations of violence and an organized cover-up spark a public inqui...