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                         The White House
                  Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 8, 1993

Statement by the Press Secretary

The United States condemns and deeply regrets the heinous attack on United Nations forces in Mogadishu this morning which resulted in the death of four American peacekeepers.

These Americans were part of a United Nations force in Somalia performing a vital humanitarian effort. When President Bush sent American forces to Somalia last November, more than 300,000 Somalis had died from starvation and violence, and millions more were threatened. By the time the United States turned over the reins of the operation to the United Nations in May and reduced our forces from more than 20,000 to today's level of about 4,000, Somalia was on the road to recovery, especially outside of Mogadishu. Today, humanitarian relief efforts are saving tens of thousands of lives, hospitals and schools are reopening, crops are being planted, and civil society is being restored.

We will continue to work with the overwhelming majority of Somali people in support of national reconciliation and rehabilitation. We must not allow those who seek to profit from the continuing suffering of the Somali people to undermine this important progress.

We will consult with the U.N. in Somalia on the measures appropriate to restore security to Mogadishu and to deal with forces that endanger the lives of American and other U.N. peacekeepers.

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