Torture by Army Peacekeepers in Somalia Shocks Canada

November 27, 1994 – New York Times

The snapshots, entered as exhibits in court-martial proceedings, show Canadian soldiers at a desert outpost in Somalia posing with a blindfolded, bruised and bloodied Somali teen-ager, who was tortured until he died a few hours later.

Canadians have been horrified by the pictures, which appeared this month in newspapers and on television, and by the story of what happened on March 16, 1993, at the encampment, at Belet Uen.

Nine soldiers were charged in the case after the ill-fated tour of the Canadian Airborne Regiment, a unit that joined the United Nations peacekeeping force to deliver relief supplies to Somalia during six months of 1992 and 1993. One soldier received a five-year prison sentence, another was ordered jailed for 90 days, four have been acquitted, two were reprimanded and one is awaiting trial

Because of allegations of a cover-up in the death of the Somali, 16-year-old Shidane Abukar Arone, who infiltrated the compound and was assumed to be a looter, Canada’s Defense Minister, David Collenette, has announced a public inquiry by a civilian-led tribunal.

The allegations have come chiefly from Maj. Barry Armstrong, a military doctor at Belet Uen who said unidentified senior military officers ordered the destruction of photographs and other evidence in April 1993.