Main Births etc
Federal Republic of Somalia[1]
Jamhuuriyadda Federaalka Soomaaliya (so)
جمهورية الصومال الفدرالية (ar)
Jumhūriyyat aṣ-Ṣūmāl al-Fiderāliyya
Anthem: Qolobaa Calankeed
and largest city
2°2′N 45°21′E / 2.033, 45.35
Official languages
  • Somali
  • Arabic[2]
Ethnic groups
  • Somalis (85%)
  • Benadiris
  • Bantus and other non-Somalis (15%)[3]
Government Federal parliamentary republic
 -  President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
 -  Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed
Legislature Federal Parliament
 -  Somali city-states c. 200 BCE 
 -  Sultanate of Mogadishu 10th century 
 -  Warsangali Sultanate 13th century 
 -  Ajuuraan Empire 14th century 
 -  Majeerteen Sultanate 18th century 
 -  British Somaliland 1884 
 -  Italian Somaliland 1889 
 -  Union, Independence and Constitution 1 July 1960[3] 
 -  Second Constitution 25 August 1979[3] 
 -  Current Constitution 1 August 2012 
 -  Total 637,657 km2 (44th)
246,200 sq mi 
 -  2012 estimate 10,000,000[3] (86th)
 -  Density 16.12[5]/km2 (199th)
41.73/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $5.896 billion[3] (163rd)
 -  Per capita $600[3] (224th)
Currency Somali shilling (SOS)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Drives on the right
Calling code +252
Internet TLD .so
This article contains Arabic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.

Somalia (Somali: Soomaaliya; Arabic: الصومال aṣ-Ṣūmāl /sɵˈmɑːliə/ so-MAH-lee-ə), officially the Federal Republic of Somalia[1] (Somali: Jamhuuriyadda Federaalka Soomaaliya, Arabic: جمهورية الصومال الفدرالية Jumhūriyyat aṣ-Ṣūmāl al-Fiderāliyya), is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia has the longest coastline on the mainland,[6] and its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands.[3] Hot conditions prevail year-round, along with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall.[7]

Somalia has a population of around 10 million. About 85% of residents are ethnic Somalis,[3] who have historically inhabited the northern part of the country. Ethnic minorities make up the remainder of the population, and are largely concentrated in the southern regions.[8] The official languages of Somalia are Somali and Arabic, both of which belong to the Afro-Asiatic family.[3] Most people in the country are Muslim,[9] with the majority being Sunni.[10]

In antiquity, Somalia was an important centre for commerce with the rest of the ancient world,[11][12] and according to most scholars,[13][14] it is among the most probable locations of the fabled ancient Land of Punt.[15][16] During the Middle Ages, several powerful Somali empires dominated the regional trade, including the Ajuuraan State, the Adal Sultanate, the Warsangali Sultanate, and the Geledi Sultanate. In the late 19th century, through a succession of treaties with these kingdoms, the British and Italians gained control of parts of the coast, and established the colonies of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland.[17][18] In the interior, Muhammad Abdullah Hassan's Dervish State successfully repelled the British Empire four times and forced it to retreat to the coastal region,[19] but the Dervishes were finally defeated in 1920 by British airpower.[20] Italy acquired full control of the northeastern and southern parts of the area after successfully waging the so-called Campaign of the Sultanates against the ruling Majeerteen Sultanate and Sultanate of Hobyo.[18] Italian occupation lasted until 1941, when it was replaced by a British military administration. Northern Somalia would remain a protectorate, while southern Somalia became a United Nations Trusteeship in 1949. In 1960, the two regions united to form the independent Somali Republic under a civilian government.[21] Mohamed Siad Barre seized power in 1969 and established the Somali Democratic Republic. In 1991, Barre's government collapsed as the Somali Civil War broke out.

In the absence of a central government, Somalia's residents reverted to local forms of conflict resolution. A few autonomous regions, including the Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug administrations, emerged in the north in the ensuing process of decentralization. The early 2000s saw the creation of fledgling interim federal administrations. The Transitional National Government (TNG) was established in 2000, followed by the formation of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2004, which reestablished national institutions such as the military.[3][3][22] In 2006, the TFG, assisted by Ethiopian troops, assumed control of most of the nation's southern conflict zones from the newly formed Islamic Courts Union (ICU). The ICU subsequently splintered into more radical groups such as Al-Shabaab, which battled the TFG and its AMISOM allies for control of the region,[3] with the insurgents losing most of the territory that they had seized by mid-2012. In 2011–2012, a political process providing benchmarks for the establishment of permanent democratic institutions was launched.[23] Within this administrative framework, a new provisional constitution was passed in August 2012,[24][25] which reformed Somalia as a federation.[26] Following the end of the TFG's interim mandate the same month, the Federal Government of Somalia, the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the civil war, was formed.[27] The nation has concurrently experienced a period of intense reconstruction, particularly in the capital, Mogadishu.[23][28] Through the years, Somalia has maintained an informal economy, based mainly on livestock, remittances, and telecommunications.[3][29]



Neolithic rock art at the Laas Gaal complex depicting a long-horned cow.

Template:History of Somalia Somalia has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period. Cave paintings said to date back to 9000 BC have been found in the northern part of the country.[30] The most famous of these is the Laas Gaal cultural complex, which contains some of the earliest dated rock art on the African continent. Undeciphered inscriptions have been discovered beneath the cave paintings.[31] During the Stone Age, the Doian and Hargeisan cultures flourished here.[32]

The oldest evidence of burial customs in the Horn of Africa comes from cemeteries in Somalia dating back to the 4th millennium BC.[33] The stone implements from the Jalelo site in northern Somalia was characterized in 1909 as "the most important link in evidence of the universality in palaeolithic times between the East and the West".[34]

Antiquity and classical era[]

The Silk Road extending from China to southern Europe, Arabia, Somalia, Egypt, Persia, India, and Java

Ancient pyramidical structures, mausoleums, ruined cities and stone walls (such as the Wargaade Wall) are evidence of an old civilization that once thrived in the Somali peninsula.[35][36] This civilization enjoyed a trading relationship with Ancient Egypt and Mycenaean Greece since the second millennium BCE, supporting the hypothesis that Somalia or adjacent regions were the location of the ancient Land of Punt.[35][37] The Puntites traded myrrh, spices, gold, ebony, short-horned cattle, ivory and frankincense with the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Babylonians, Indians, Chinese and Romans through their commercial ports. An Egyptian expedition sent to Punt by the 18th dynasty Queen Hatshepsut is recorded on the temple reliefs at Deir el-Bahari, during the reign of the Puntite King Parahu and Queen Ati.[35]

The camel is believed to have been domesticated in the Horn somewhere between the 3rd and 2nd millennium BCE. From there it spread to Egypt and North Africa.[38] In the classical period, the city states of Mosylon, Opone, Malao, Mundus and Tabae developed a lucrative trade network connecting with merchants from Phoenicia, Ptolemaic Egypt, Greece, Parthian Persia, Saba, Nabataea, and the Roman Empire. They used the ancient Somali maritime vessel known as the beden to transport their cargo.

Ruins of Qa’ableh.

After the Roman conquest of the Nabataean Empire and the Roman naval presence at Aden to curb piracy, Arab and Somali merchants agreed with the Romans to bar Indian ships from trading in the free port cities of the Arabian peninsula[39] to protect the interests of Somali and Arab merchants in the lucrative commerce between the Red and Mediterranean Seas.[40] However, Indian merchants continued to trade in the port cities of the Somali peninsula, which was free from Roman interference.[41]

For centuries, Indian merchants brought large quantities of cinnamon to Somalia and Arabia from Ceylon and the Spice Islands. The source of the cinnamon and other spices is said to have been the best-kept secret of Arab and Somali merchants in their trade with the Roman and Greek world; the Romans and Greeks believed the source to have been the Somali peninsula.[42] The collusive agreement among Somali and Arab traders inflated the price of Indian and Chinese cinnamon in North Africa, the Near East, and Europe, and made the cinnamon trade a very profitable revenue generator, especially for the Somali merchants through whose hands large quantities were shipped across sea and land routes.[40]

Birth of Islam and the Middle Ages[]

Ruins of the Adal Sultanate in Zeila.

Islam was introduced to the area early on from the Arabian peninsula, shortly after the hijra. Zeila's two-mihrab Masjid al-Qiblatayn dates to the 7th century, and is the oldest mosque in the city.[43] In the late 800s, Al-Yaqubi wrote that Muslims were living along the northern Somali seaboard.[44] He also mentioned that the Adal kingdom had its capital in the city,[44][45] suggesting that the Adal Sultanate with Zeila as its headquarters dates back to at least the 9th or 10th centuries. According to I.M. Lewis, the polity was governed by local dynasties consisting of Somalized Arabs or Arabized Somalis, who also ruled over the similarly established Sultanate of Mogadishu in the Benadir region to the south. Adal's history from this founding period forth would be characterized by a succession of battles with neighbouring Abyssinia.[45] At its height, the Adal kingdom controlled large parts of modern-day Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Eritrea.

13th-century Fakr ad-Din mosque, built by Fakr ad-Din, the first Sultan of the Mogadishu Sultanate.

In 1332, the Zeila-based King of Adal was slain in a military campaign aimed at halting Abyssinian emperor Amda Seyon I's march toward the city.[46] When the last Sultan of Ifat, Sa'ad ad-Din II, was also killed by Emperor Dawit I in Zeila in 1410, his children escaped to Yemen, before returning in 1415.[47] In the early 15th century, Adal's capital was moved further inland to the town of Dakkar, where Sabr ad-Din II, the eldest son of Sa'ad ad-Din II, established a new base after his return from Yemen.[48][49]

Adal's headquarters were again relocated the following century, this time southward to Harar. From this new capital, Adal organised an effective army led by Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi (Ahmad "Gurey" or "Gran", both meaning "the left-handed") that invaded the Abyssinian empire.[49] This 16th-century campaign is historically known as the Conquest of Abyssinia (Futuh al-Habash). During the war, Imam Ahmad pioneered the use of cannons supplied by the Ottoman Empire, which he imported through Zeila and deployed against Abyssinian forces and their Portuguese allies led by Cristóvão da Gama.[50] Some scholars argue that this conflict proved, through their use on both sides, the value of firearms like the matchlock musket, cannon, and the arquebus over traditional weapons.[51]

Flag of the medieval Ajuuraan State.

During the Ajuuraan period, the sultanates and republics of Merca, Mogadishu, Barawa, Hobyo and their respective ports flourished and had a lucrative foreign commerce, with ships sailing to and coming from Arabia, India, Venetia,[52] Persia, Egypt, Portugal, and as far away as China. Vasco da Gama, who passed by Mogadishu in the 15th century, noted that it was a large city with houses several storeys high and large palaces in its centre, in addition to many mosques with cylindrical minarets.[53]

In the 16th century, Duarte Barbosa noted that many ships from the Kingdom of Cambaya in modern-day India sailed to Mogadishu with cloth and spices, for which they in return received gold, wax and ivory. Barbosa also highlighted the abundance of meat, wheat, barley, horses, and fruit on the coastal markets, which generated enormous wealth for the merchants.[54] Mogadishu, the center of a thriving textile industry known as toob benadir (specialized for the markets in Egypt, among other places[55]), together with Merca and Barawa, also served as a transit stop for Swahili merchants from Mombasa and Malindi and for the gold trade from Kilwa.[56] Jewish merchants from the Hormuz brought their Indian textile and fruit to the Somali coast in exchange for grain and wood.[57]

Trading relations were established with Malacca in the 15th century,[58] with cloth, ambergris and porcelain being the main commodities of the trade.[59] Giraffes, zebras and incense were exported to the Ming Empire of China, which established Somali merchants as leaders in the commerce between the Asia and Africa[60] and influenced the Chinese language with the Somali language in the process. Hindu merchants from Surat and Southeast African merchants from Pate, seeking to bypass both the Portuguese blockade and Omani interference, used the Somali ports of Merca and Barawa (which were out of the two powers' jurisdiction) to conduct their trade in safety and without interference.[61]

Early Modern Era and the Scramble for Africa[]

Mohamoud Ali Shire, the 26th Sultan of the Warsangali Sultanate.

In the early modern period, successor states of the Adal and Ajuuraan empires began to flourish in Somalia. These included the Warsangali Sultanate, the Bari Dynasties, the Geledi Sultanate (Gobroon dynasty), the Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia), and the Sultanate of Hobyo (Obbia). They continued the tradition of castle-building and seaborne trade established by previous Somali empires.

Sultan Yusuf Mahamud Ibrahim, the third Sultan of the House of Gobroon, started the golden age of the Gobroon Dynasty. His army came out victorious during the Bardheere Jihad, which restored stability in the region and revitalized the East African ivory trade. He also received presents from and had cordial relations with the rulers of neighboring and distant kingdoms such as the Omani, Witu and Yemeni Sultans.

Sultan Ibrahim's son Ahmed Yusuf succeeded him and was one of the most important figures in 19th-century East Africa, receiving tribute from Omani governors and creating alliances with important Muslim families on the East African coast. In northern Somalia, the Gerad Dynasty conducted trade with Yemen and Persia and competed with the merchants of the Bari Dynasty. The Gerads and the Bari Sultans built impressive palaces and fortresses and had close relations with many different empires in the Near East.

One of the forts of the Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia) in Hafun.

In the late 19th century, after the Berlin Conference of 1884, European powers began the Scramble for Africa, which inspired the Dervish leader Muhammad Abdullah Hassan to rally support from across the Horn of Africa and begin one of the longest colonial resistance wars ever. In several of his poems and speeches, Hassan emphasized that the British "have destroyed our religion and made our children their children" and that the Christian Ethiopians in league with the British were bent upon plundering the political and religious freedom of the Somali nation.[62] He soon emerged as "a champion of his country's political and religious freedom, defending it against all Christian invaders."[63]

Hassan issued a religious ordinance stipulating that any Somali national who did not accept the goal of unity of Somalia and would not fight under his leadership would be considered to be kafir, or gaal. He soon acquired weapons from the Ottoman Empire, Sudan, and other Islamic and/or Arabian countries, and appointed ministers and advisers to administer different areas or sectors of Somalia. In addition, he gave a clarion call for Somali unity and independence, in the process organizing his forces.

Taleex was the capital of the Dervish State.

Hassan's Dervish movement had an essentially military character, and the Dervish state was fashioned on the model of a Salihiya brotherhood. It was characterized by a rigid hierarchy and centralization. Though Hassan threatened to drive the Christians into the sea, he executed the first attack by launching his first major military offensive with his 1500 Dervish equipped with 20 modern rifles on the British soldiers stationed in the region. He repulsed the British in four expeditions and had relations with the Central Powers of the Ottomans and the Germans. In 1920, the Dervish state collapsed after intensive aerial bombardments by Britain, and Dervish territories were subsequently turned into a protectorate.

The dawn of fascism in the early 1920s heralded a change of strategy for Italy, as the north-eastern sultanates were soon to be forced within the boundaries of La Grande Somalia according to the plan of Fascist Italy. With the arrival of Governor Cesare Maria De Vecchi on 15 December 1923, things began to change for that part of Somaliland known as Italian Somaliland. Italy had access to these areas under the successive protection treaties, but not direct rule.

The Fascist government had direct rule only over the Benadir territory. Fascist Italy, under Benito Mussolini, attacked Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935, with an aim to colonize it. The invasion was condemned by the League of Nations, but little was done to stop it or to liberate occupied Ethiopia. On 3 August 1940, Italian troops, including Somali colonial units, crossed from Ethiopia to invade British Somaliland, and by 14 August, succeeded in taking Berbera from the British.

A British force, including troops from several African countries, launched the campaign in January 1941 from Kenya to liberate British Somaliland and Italian-occupied Ethiopia and conquer Italian Somaliland. By February, most of Italian Somaliland was captured and in March, British Somaliland was retaken from the sea. The forces of the British Empire operating in Somaliland comprised the three divisions of South African, West African, and East African troops. They were assisted by Somali forces led by Abdulahi Hassan with Somalis of the Isaaq, Dhulbahante, and Warsangali clans prominently participating. After World War II, the number of the Italian colonists started to decrease; their numbers had dwindled to less than 10,000 in 1960.[64]


An avenue in downtown Mogadishu in 1963.

Following World War II, Britain retained control of both British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland as protectorates. In 1945, during the Potsdam Conference, the United Nations granted Italy trusteeship of Italian Somaliland, but only under close supervision and on the condition—first proposed by the Somali Youth League (SYL) and other nascent Somali political organizations, such as Hizbia Digil Mirifle Somali (HDMS) and the Somali National League (SNL)—that Somalia achieve independence within ten years.[65][66] British Somaliland remained a protectorate of Britain until 1960.[64]

To the extent that Italy held the territory by UN mandate, the trusteeship provisions gave the Somalis the opportunity to gain experience in political education and self-government. These were advantages that British Somaliland, which was to be incorporated into the new Somali state, did not have. Although in the 1950s British colonial officials attempted, through various administrative development efforts, to make up for past neglect, the protectorate stagnated. The disparity between the two territories in economic development and political experience would cause serious difficulties when it came time to integrate the two parts.[67] Meanwhile, in 1948, under pressure from their World War II allies and to the dismay of the Somalis,[68] the British "returned" the Haud (an important Somali grazing area that was presumably protected by British treaties with the Somalis in 1884 and 1886) and the Ogaden to Ethiopia, based on a treaty they signed in 1897 in which the British ceded Somali territory to the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik in exchange for his help against plundering by Somali clans.[69]

Britain included the proviso that the Somali residents would retain their autonomy, but Ethiopia immediately claimed sovereignty over the area.[65] This prompted an unsuccessful bid by Britain in 1956 to buy back the Somali lands it had turned over.[65] Britain also granted administration of the almost exclusively Somali-inhabited[70] Northern Frontier District (NFD) to Kenyan nationalists despite an informal plebiscite demonstrating the overwhelming desire of the region's population to join the newly formed Somali Republic.[71]

Flag of the Somali Youth League (SYL), the nation's first political party.

A referendum was held in neighboring Djibouti (then known as French Somaliland) in 1958, on the eve of Somalia's independence in 1960, to decide whether or not to join the Somali Republic or to remain with France. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France, largely due to a combined yes vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans.[72] There was also widespread vote rigging, with the French expelling thousands of Somalis before the referendum reached the polls.[73] The majority of those who voted 'no' were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia, as had been proposed by Mahmoud Harbi, Vice President of the Government Council. Harbi was killed in a plane crash two years later.[72] Djibouti finally gained its independence from France in 1977, and Hassan Gouled Aptidon, a Somali who had campaigned for a 'yes' vote in the referendum of 1958, eventually wound up as Djibouti's first president (1977–1991).[72]

British Somaliland became independent on 26 June 1960 as the State of Somaliland, and the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) followed suit five days later.[74] On July 1, 1960, the two territories united to form the Somali Republic, albeit within boundaries drawn up by Italy and Britain.[75][76] A government was formed by Abdullahi Issa and other members of the trusteeship and protectorate governments, with Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf as President of the Somali National Assembly, Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as President of the Somali Republic and Abdirashid Ali Shermarke as Prime Minister (later to become President from 1967–1969). On 20 July 1961 and through a popular referendum, the people of Somalia ratified a new constitution, which was first drafted in 1960.[77] In 1967, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal became Prime Minister, a position to which he was appointed by Shermarke. Egal would later become the President of the autonomous Somaliland region in northwestern Somalia.

On 15 October 1969, while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod, Somalia's then President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was shot dead by one of his own bodyguards. His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d'état on 21 October 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the Somali Army seized power without encountering armed opposition — essentially a bloodless takeover. The putsch was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army.[78]

Communist rule[]

File:General Kediye.jpg

Lieutenant Colonel Salaad Gabeyre Kediye, the "Father of the Revolution" that succeeded Somalia's civilian administration.

Alongside Barre, the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) that assumed power after President Sharmarke's assassination was led by Lieutenant Colonel Salaad Gabeyre Kediye and Chief of Police Jama Korshel. Kediye officially held the title of "Father of the Revolution," and Barre shortly afterwards became the head of the SRC.[79] The SRC subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic,[80][81] dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution.[82]

The revolutionary army established large-scale public works programs and successfully implemented an urban and rural literacy campaign, which helped dramatically increase the literacy rate. In addition to a nationalization program of industry and land, the new regime's foreign policy placed an emphasis on Somalia's traditional and religious links with the Arab world, eventually joining the Arab League (AL) in 1974.[83] That same year, Barre also served as chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the African Union (AU).[84]

In July 1976, Barre's SRC disbanded itself and established in its place the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP), a one-party government based on scientific socialism and Islamic tenets. The SRSP was an attempt to reconcile the official state ideology with the official state religion by adapting Marxist precepts to local circumstances. Emphasis was placed on the Muslim principles of social progress, equality and justice, which the government argued formed the core of scientific socialism and its own accent on self-sufficiency, public participation and popular control, as well as direct ownership of the means of production. While the SRSP encouraged private investment on a limited scale, the administration's overall direction was essentially communist.[82]

In July 1977, the Ogaden War broke out after Barre's government played the national unity card to justify an aggressive incorporation of the predominantly Somali-inhabited Ogaden region of Ethiopia into a Pan-Somali Greater Somalia, along with the rich agricultural lands of south-eastern Ethiopia, infrastructure, and strategically important areas as far north as Djibouti.[85] In the first week of the conflict, Somali armed forces took southern and central Ogaden and for most of the war, the Somali army scored continuous victories on the Ethiopian army and followed them as far as Sidamo. By September 1977, Somalia controlled 90% of the Ogaden and captured strategic cities such as Jijiga and put heavy pressure on Dire Dawa, threatening the train route from the latter city to Djibouti. After the siege of Harar, a massive unprecedented Soviet intervention consisting of 20,000 Cuban forces and several thousand Soviet experts came to the aid of Ethiopia's communist Derg regime. By 1978, the Somali troops were ultimately pushed out of the Ogaden. This shift in support by the Soviet Union motivated the Barre government to seek allies elsewhere. It eventually settled on the Soviets' Cold War arch-rival, the United States, which had been courting the Somali government for some time. All in all, Somalia's initial friendship with the Soviet Union and later partnership with the United States enabled it to build the largest army in Africa.[86]

Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, Chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Council.

A new constitution was promulgated in 1979 under which elections for a People's Assembly were held. However, Barre's Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party politburo continued to rule.[81] In October 1980, the SRSP was disbanded, and the Supreme Revolutionary Council was re-established in its place.[82] By that time, Barre's government had become increasingly unpopular. Many Somalis had become disillusioned with life under military dictatorship. The regime was weakened further in the 1980s as the Cold War drew to a close and Somalia's strategic importance was diminished. The government became increasingly totalitarian, and resistance movements, encouraged by Ethiopia, sprang up across the country, eventually leading to the Somali Civil War. Among the militia groups were the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), United Somali Congress (USC), Somali National Movement (SNM) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), together with the non-violent political oppositions of the Somali Democratic Movement (SDM), the Somali Democratic Alliance (SDA) and the Somali Manifesto Group (SMG).

During 1990, in the capital city of Mogadishu, the residents were prohibited from gathering publicly in groups greater than three or four. Fuel shortages caused long lines of cars at petrol stations. Inflation had driven the price of pasta, (ordinary dry Italian noodles, a staple at that time), to five U.S. dollars per kilogram. The price of khat, imported daily from Kenya, was also five U.S. dollars per standard bunch. Paper currency notes were of such low value that several bundles were needed to pay for simple restaurant meals.

A thriving black market existed in the centre of the city as banks experienced shortages of local currency for exchange. At night, the city of Mogadishu lay in darkness. Close monitoring of all visiting foreigners was in effect. Harsh exchange control regulations were introduced to prevent export of foreign currency. Although no travel restrictions were placed on foreigners, photographing many locations was banned. During the day in Mogadishu, the appearance of any government military force was extremely rare. Alleged late-night operations by government authorities, however, included "disappearances" of individuals from their homes.[87]

Somali Civil War[]

1991 was a time of great change for Somalia. The Barre administration was ousted that year by a coalition of clan-based opposition groups, backed by Ethiopia's then-ruling Derg regime and Libya.[88] Following a meeting of the Somali National Movement and northern clans' elders, the northern former British portion of the country declared its independence as Somaliland in May 1991. Although de facto independent and relatively stable compared to the tumultuous south, it has not been recognized by any foreign government.[89][90]

Prior to the civil war, Mogadishu was known as the "White pearl of the Indian Ocean".[91]

Many of the opposition groups subsequently began competing for influence in the power vacuum that followed the ouster of Barre's regime. In the south, armed factions led by USC commanders General Mohamed Farah Aidid and Ali Mahdi Mohamed, in particular, clashed as each sought to exert authority over the capital.[92] In 1991, a multi-phased international conference on Somalia was held in neighbouring Djibouti. Aidid boycotted the first meeting in protest. Due to the legitimacy conferred on Muhammad by the Djibouti conference, he was subsequently recognized by the international community as the new President of Somalia. Djibouti, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Italy were among the countries that officially extended recognition to Muhammad's administration.[93] However, he was not able to exert his authority beyond parts of the capital. Power was instead vied with other faction leaders in the southern half of the country and with autonomous subnational entities in the north.[94]

UN Security Council Resolution 733 and UN Security Council Resolution 746 led to the creation of UNOSOM I, the first mission to provide humanitarian relief and help restore order in Somalia after the dissolution of its central government. United Nations Security Council Resolution 794 was unanimously passed on December 3, 1992, which approved a coalition of United Nations peacekeepers led by the United States. Forming the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the alliance was tasked with assuring security until humanitarian efforts aimed at stabilizing the situation were transferred to the UN. Landing in 1993, the UN peacekeeping coalition started the two-year United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) primarily in the south.[95] UNITAF's original mandate was to use "all necessary means" to guarantee the delivery of humanitarian aid in accordance to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter,[96] and is regarded as a success.[97]

Propaganda leaflet depicting a white dove of peace being crushed by a fist labeled "USC/SNA" ("United Somali Congress/Somali National Alliance").

However, Aidid saw UNOSOM II as a threat to his power and in June 1993 his militia attacked Pakistan Army troops, attached to UNOSOM II, (see Somalia (March 1992 to February 1996)) in Mogadishu inflicting over 80 casualties. Fighting escalated until 19 American troops and more than 1,000 civilians and militia were killed in a raid in Mogadishu during October 1993.[98][99] The UN withdrew Operation United Shield in 3 March 1995, having suffered significant casualties, and with the rule of government still not restored. In August 1996, Aidid was killed in Mogadishu.

Following the outbreak of the civil war, many of Somalia's residents left the country in search of asylum. At the end of 2009, about 678,000 were under the responsibility of the UNHCR, constituting the third largest refugee group after war-afflicted Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively. Due to renewed fighting in the southern half of the country, an estimated 132,000 people left in 2009, and another 300,000 were displaced internally.[100] Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali[101] and Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, UN special envoy to Somalia[102] have referred to the killing of civilians in the Somali Civil War as a "genocide".

In mid-2011, two consecutive missed rainy seasons precipitated the worst drought in East Africa in decades.[103] In response, the Transitional Federal Government set up a national committee consisting of several federal-level ministers tasked with assessing and addressing the needs of the drought-impacted segments of the population.[104] An estimated 50,000 to 150,000 people were reported to have died over the ensuing months,[105] though these figures and the extent of the crisis are disputed.[106] In February 2012, the UN announced that the crisis was over due to a scaling up of relief efforts and a bumper harvest.[107] Aid agencies subsequently shifted their emphasis to recovery efforts, including digging irrigation canals and distributing plant seeds.[107]

A reconstituted Somali National Army (SNA) and Somali Police Force (SPF) have worked toward expanding their influence.

A consequence of the collapse of governmental authority that accompanied the civil war was the emergence of piracy in the unpatrolled Indian Ocean waters off of the coast of Somalia. The phenomenon arose as an attempt by local fishermen to protect their livelihood from illegal fishing by foreign trawlers.[108] In August 2008, a multinational coalition took on the task of combating the piracy by establishing a Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) within the Gulf of Aden.[109] A maritime police force was also later formed in the Puntland region, and best management practices, including hiring private armed guards, were adopted by ship owners. These combined efforts led to a sharp decline in incidents.[108] By October 2012, pirate attacks had dropped to a six-year low, with only 1 ship attacked in the third quarter compared to 36 during the same period in 2011.[110]

In October 2011, a coordinated operation between the Somali military and the Kenyan military began against the Al-Shabaab group of insurgents in southern Somalia.[111][112] The mission was officially led by the Somali army, with the Kenyan forces providing a support role.[112] In early June 2012, Kenyan forces were formally integrated into AMISOM.[113] By September 2012, the Somali National Army and allied AU and Raskamboni forces had managed to capture Al-Shabaab's last major stronghold, the southern port of Kismayo.[114] Currently, three European Union operations are engaging with Somalia: EU NAVFOR Atalanta off the Horn of Africa, EUTM Somalia training troops in Uganda and EUCAP Nestor (launched on 16 July 2012).[115]


Political map of Somalia (as of 25 March 2013).

Transitional Federal Institutions[]

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was the internationally recognised government of Somalia until 20 August 2012, when its tenure officially ended.[27] It was established as one of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) of government as defined in the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) adopted in November 2004 by the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP).

The Transitional Federal Government officially comprised the executive branch of government, with the TFP serving as the legislative branch. The government was headed by the President of Somalia, to whom the cabinet reported through the Prime Minister. However, it was also used as a general term to refer to all three branches collectively.

Islamic Courts Union and Ethiopian intervention[]

Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, one of the founders of the Transitional Federal Government.

In 2006, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an Islamist organization, assumed control of much of the southern part of the country and promptly imposed Shari'a law. The Transitional Federal Government sought to reestablish its authority, and, with the assistance of Ethiopian troops, African Union peacekeepers and air support by the United States, managed to drive out the rival ICU and solidify its rule.[116]

On 8 January 2007, as the Battle of Ras Kamboni raged, TFG President and founder Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, a former colonel in the Somali Army and decorated war hero, entered Mogadishu for the first time since being elected to office. The government then relocated to Villa Somalia in the capital from its interim location in Baidoa. This marked the first time since the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 that the federal government controlled most of the country.[117]

Following this defeat, the Islamic Courts Union splintered into several different factions. Some of the more radical elements, including Al-Shabaab, regrouped to continue their insurgency against the TFG and oppose the Ethiopian military's presence in Somalia. Throughout 2007 and 2008, Al-Shabaab scored military victories, seizing control of key towns and ports in both central and southern Somalia. At the end of 2008, the group had captured Baidoa but not Mogadishu. By January 2009, Al-Shabaab and other militias had managed to force the Ethiopian troops to retreat, leaving behind an under-equipped African Union peacekeeping force to assist the Transitional Federal Government's troops.[118]

Due to a lack of funding and human resources, an arms embargo that made it difficult to re-establish a national security force, and general indifference on the part of the international community, President Yusuf found himself obliged to deploy thousands of troops from Puntland to Mogadishu to sustain the battle against insurgent elements in the southern part of the country. Financial support for this effort was provided by the autonomous region's government. This left little revenue for Puntland's own security forces and civil service employees, leaving the territory vulnerable to piracy and terrorist attacks.[119][120]

On 29 December 2008, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed announced before a united parliament in Baidoa his resignation as President of Somalia. In his speech, which was broadcast on national radio, Yusuf expressed regret at failing to end the country's seventeen-year conflict as his government had been mandated to do.[121] He also blamed the international community for its failure to support the government, and said that the speaker of parliament would succeed him in office per the Charter of the Transitional Federal Government.[122]

Coalition government[]

The battle flag of Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group waging war against the federal government.

Between 31 May and 9 June 2008, representatives of Somalia's federal government and the moderate Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) group of Islamist rebels participated in peace talks in Djibouti brokered by the former United Nations Special Envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah. The conference ended with a signed agreement calling for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops in exchange for the cessation of armed confrontation. Parliament was subsequently expanded to 550 seats to accommodate ARS members, which then elected Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the former ARS chairman, to office. President Sharif shortly afterwards appointed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the son of slain former President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, as the nation's new Prime Minister.[3]

With the help of a small team of African Union troops, the coalition government also began a counteroffensive in February 2009 to assume full control of the southern half of the country. To solidify its rule, the TFG formed an alliance with the Islamic Courts Union, other members of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, and Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a, a moderate Sufi militia.[123] Furthermore, Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, the two main Islamist groups in opposition, began to fight amongst themselves in mid-2009.[124]

As a truce, in March 2009, Somalia's coalition government announced that it would re-implement Shari'a as the nation's official judicial system.[125] However, conflict continued in the southern and central parts of the country. Within months, the coalition government had gone from holding about 70% of south-central Somalia's conflict zones, territory which it had inherited from the previous Yusuf administration, to losing control of over 80% of the disputed territory to the Islamist insurgents.[117]

During the coalition government's brief tenure, Somalia topped the Fund For Peace's Failed States Index for three consecutive years. In 2009, Transparency International ranked the nation in last place on its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), a metric that purports to show the prevalence of corruption in a country's public sector.[126] In mid-2010, the Institute for Economics and Peace also ranked Somalia in the next-to-last position, in between war-afflicted Iraq and Afghanistan, on its Global Peace Index.

2010–2012 government[]

On 14 October 2010, diplomat Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo) was appointed the new Prime Minister of Somalia. The former Premier Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke resigned the month before following a protracted dispute with President Sharif over a proposed draft constitution.[127]

Foreign Minister of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Omaar in a meeting with UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and other diplomats at the UN headquarters in New York.

Per the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic,[128] Prime Minister Mohamed named a new Cabinet on 12 November 2010,[129] which was lauded by the international community.[130][131] As had been expected, the allotted ministerial positions were significantly reduced in numbers from 39 to 18.[129][132] Only two Ministers from the previous Cabinet were reappointed: Hussein Abdi Halane, the former Minister of Finance (Finance and Treasury) and Mohamud Abdi Ibrahim (Commerce and Industry).[133] Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a, a moderate Sufi group and an important military ally of the TFG, became Minister of the Interior and Labour ministries.[132][133] The remaining ministerial positions were largely assigned to technocrats new to the Somali political arena.[134]

Additional members of the Independent Constitutional Commission were also appointed to engage Somali constitutional lawyers, religious scholars and experts in Somali culture over the nation's upcoming new constitution, a key part of the government's Transitional Federal Tasks. In addition, high level federal delegations were dispatched to defuse clan-related tensions in several regions. According to the prime minister of Somalia, to improve transparency, Cabinet ministers fully disclosed their assets and signed a code of ethics.[135]

An Anti-Corruption Commission with the power to carry out formal investigations and to review government decisions and protocols was also established to more closely monitor all activities by public officials. Furthermore, unnecessary trips abroad by members of government were prohibited, and all travel by ministers required the Premier’s consent.[135][136] A budget outlining 2011’s federal expenditures was also put before and approved by members of parliament, with the payment of civil service employees prioritized. In addition, a full audit of government property and vehicles is being put into place.[135][137] On the war front, the new government and its AMISOM allies also managed to secure control of Mogadishu by August 2011.[138] According to the African Union and Prime Minister Mohamed, with increasing troop strength the pace of territorial gains is expected to greatly accelerate.[135][137]

On 19 June 2011, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed resigned from his position as Prime Minister of Somalia. Part of the controversial Kampala Accord's conditions, the agreement saw the mandates of the President, the Parliament Speaker and Deputies extended until August 2012.[139] Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Mohamed's former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, was later named permanent Prime Minister.[22]

Federal government[]

Mohamed Osman Jawari, Speaker of the Federal Parliament.

As part of the official "Roadmap for the End of Transition", a political process which provided clear benchmarks leading toward the formation of permanent democratic institutions in Somalia, the Transitional Federal Government's interim mandate ended on August 20, 2012.[23] The Federal Parliament of Somalia was concurrently inaugurated, ushering in the Federal Government of Somalia, the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the civil war.[27]

On September 10, 2012, parliament elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the new President of Somalia.[140] President Mohamud later appointed Abdi Farah Shirdon as the new Prime Minister on October 6, 2012,[141] who was succeeded in office by Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed on December 21, 2013.[142]


The Judiciary of Somalia is defined by the Provisional Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia. Adopted on August 1, 2012 by a National Constitutional Assembly in Mogadishu, Banaadir,[143][144] the document was formulated by a committee of specialists chaired by attorney and incumbent Speaker of the Federal Parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawari.[145] It provides the legal foundation for the existence of the Federal Republic and source of legal authority.[2]

The national court structure is organized into three tiers: the Constitutional Court, Federal Government level courts and Federal Member State level courts. A nine-member Judicial Service Commission appoints any Federal tier member of the judiciary. It also selects and presents potential Constitutional Court judges to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament for approval. If endorsed, the President appoints the candidate as a judge of the Constitutional Court. The five-member Constitutional Court adjudicates issues pertaining to the constitution, in addition to various Federal and sub-national matters.[2]

Foreign relations[]

President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department (September 2013).

Somalia's foreign relations are handled by the President as the head of state, the Prime Minister as the head of government, and the federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[2]

According to Article 54 of the national constitution, the allocation of powers and resources between the Federal Government and the Federal Republic of Somalia's constituent Federal Member States shall be negotiated and agreed upon by the Federal Government and the Federal Member States, except in matters pertaining to foreign affairs, national defense, citizenship and immigration, and monetary policy. Article 53 also stipulates that the Federal Government shall consult the Federal Member States on major issues related to international agreements, including negotiations vis-a-vis foreign trade, finance and treaties.[2]

The Federal Government maintains bilateral relations with a number of other central governments in the international community. Among these are Djibouti, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Turkey, Italy, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, the United States, the People's Republic of China, Japan and South Korea.

Additionally, Somalia has several diplomatic missions abroad. There are likewise various foreign embassies and consulates based in the capital Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country.

Somalia is also a member of many international organizations, such as the United Nations, African Union and Arab League. It was a founding member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in 1969.[146] Other memberships include the African Development Bank, Group of 77, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Development Association, International Finance Corporation, Non-Aligned Movement, World Federation of Trade Unions and World Meteorological Organization.

Regions and districts[]

Template:Regions of Somalia Image Map Somalia is officially divided into eighteen regions (gobollada, singular gobol),[3] which in turn are subdivided into districts. The regions are:

1 Lower Juba
2 Middle Juba
3 Gedo
4 Bay
5 Bakool
6 Lower Shebelle

7 Banaadir
8 Middle Shebelle
9 Hiran
10 Galguduud
11 Mudug
12 Nugal

13 Bari
14 Sool
15 Sanaag
16 Togdheer
17 Woqooyi Galbeed
18 Awdal

On a de facto basis, northern Somalia is now divided up among the autonomous regions of Puntland (which considers itself an autonomous state) and Somaliland (a self-declared but unrecognized sovereign state). In central Somalia, Galmudug is another regional entity that emerged just south of Puntland. Jubaland in the far south is a fourth autonomous region within the federation.[3]

The Federal Parliament is tasked with selecting the ultimate number and boundaries of the autonomous regional states (officially Federal Member States) within the Federal Republic of Somalia.[147][148]


Location and habitat[]

The Cal Madow mountain range in northern Somalia features the nation's highest peak, Shimbiris.

Somalia is bordered by Djibouti to the northwest, Kenya to the southwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Ethiopia to the west. It lies between latitudes 2°S and 12°N, and longitudes 41° and 52°E. Strategically located at the mouth of the Bab el Mandeb gateway to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, the country occupies the tip of a region that, due to its resemblance on the map to a rhinoceros' horn, is commonly referred to as the Horn of Africa.[3][149]

Somalia has the longest coastline on the mainland,[150] with a seaboard that stretches 3,025 kilometres (1,880 mi). Its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands. The nation has a total area of 637,657 square kilometres (246,201 sq mi) of which constitutes land, with 10,320 square kilometres (3,980 sq mi) of water. Somalia's land boundaries extend to about 2,340 kilometres (1,450 mi); 58 kilometres (36 mi) of that is shared with Djibouti, 682 kilometres (424 mi) with Kenya, and 1,626 kilometres (1,010 mi) with Ethiopia. Its maritime claims include territorial waters of 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi).[3]

The Jubba River

In the north, a scrub-covered, semi-desert plain referred as the Guban lies parallel to the Gulf of Aden littoral. With a width of twelve kilometres in the west to as little as two kilometres in the east, the plain is bisected by watercourses that are essentially beds of dry sand except during the rainy seasons. When the rains arrive, the Guban's low bushes and grass clumps transform into lush vegetation.[149] This coastal strip is part of the Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands ecoregion.

Cal Madow is a mountain range in the northeastern part of the country. Extending from several kilometres west of the city of Bosaso to the northwest of Erigavo, it features Somalia's highest peak, Shimbiris, which sits at an elevation of about 2,416 metres (7,927 ft).[3] The rugged east-west ranges of the Karkaar Mountains also lie to the interior of the Gulf of Aden littoral.[149] In the central regions, the country's northern mountain ranges give way to shallow plateaus and typically dry watercourses that are referred to locally as the Ogo. The Ogo's western plateau, in turn, gradually merges into the Haud, an important grazing area for livestock.[149]

Somalia has only two permanent rivers, the Jubba and the Shabele, both of which begin in the Ethiopian Highlands. These rivers mainly flow southwards, with the Jubba River entering the Indian Ocean at Kismayo. The Shabele River at one time apparently used to enter the sea near Merca, but now reaches a point just southwest of Mogadishu. After that, it consists of swamps and dry reaches before finally disappearing in the desert terrain east of Jilib, near the Jubba River.[149]


Somalia's coral reefs, ecological parks and protected areas.

Somalia is a semi-arid country with about 1.64% arable land.[3] The first local environmental organizations were Ecoterra Somalia and the Somali Ecological Society, both of which helped promote awareness about ecological concerns and mobilized environmental programs in all governmental sectors as well as in civil society. From 1971 onwards, a massive tree-planting campaign on a nationwide scale was introduced by the Siad Barre government to halt the advance of thousands of acres of wind-driven sand dunes that threatened to engulf towns, roads and farm land.[151] By 1988, 265 hectares of a projected 336 hectares had been treated, with 39 range reserve sites and 36 forestry plantation sites established.[149] In 1986, the Wildlife Rescue, Research and Monitoring Centre was established by Ecoterra Intl., with the goal of sensitizing the public to ecological issues. This educational effort led in 1989 to the so-called "Somalia proposal" and a decision by the Somali government to adhere to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which established for the first time a worldwide ban on the trade of elephant ivory.

Later, Fatima Jibrell, a prominent Somali environmental activist, mounted a successful campaign to salvage old-growth forests of acacia trees in the northeastern part of Somalia.[152] These trees, which can grow up to 500 years old, were being cut down to make charcoal since this so-called "black gold" is highly in demand in the Arabian Peninsula, where the region's Bedouin tribes believe the acacia to be sacred.[152][153][154] However, while being a relatively inexpensive fuel that meets a user's needs, the production of charcoal often leads to deforestation and desertification.[154] As a way of addressing this problem, Jibrell and the Horn of Africa Relief and Development Organization (Horn Relief), an organization of which she is a co-founder and Executive Director, trained a group of adolescents to educate the public on the permanent damage that producing charcoal can create. In 1999, Horn Relief coordinated a peace march in the northeastern Puntland region of Somalia to put an end to the so-called "charcoal wars." As a result of Jibrell's lobbying and education efforts, the Puntland government in 2000 prohibited the exportation of charcoal. The government has also since enforced the ban, which has reportedly led to an 80% drop in exports of the product.[155] Jibrell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2002 for her efforts against environmental degradation and desertification.[155] In 2008, she also won the National Geographic Society/Buffett Foundation Award for Leadership in Conservation.[156]

The Lamadaya waterfalls in Sanaag.

Following the massive tsunami of December 2004, there have also emerged allegations that after the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in the late 1980s, Somalia's long, remote shoreline was used as a dump site for the disposal of toxic waste. The huge waves which battered northern Somalia after the tsunami are believed to have stirred up tons of nuclear and toxic waste that might have been dumped illegally in the country by foreign firms.[157]

The European Green Party followed up these revelations by presenting before the press and the European Parliament in Strasbourg copies of contracts signed by two European companies — the Italian Swiss firm, Achair Partners, and an Italian waste broker, Progresso — and representatives of the then "President" of Somalia, the faction leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed, to accept 10 million tonnes of toxic waste in exchange for $80 million (then about £60 million).[157]

According to reports by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the waste has resulted in far higher than normal cases of respiratory infections, mouth ulcers and bleeding, abdominal haemorrhages and unusual skin infections among many inhabitants of the areas around the northeastern towns of Hobyo and Benadir on the Indian Ocean coast — diseases consistent with radiation sickness. UNEP adds that the current situation along the Somali coastline poses a very serious environmental hazard not only in Somalia, but also in the eastern Africa sub-region.[157]


Arabian horses, referred to as faras, seen here in the arid plains of Dhahar.

Due to Somalia's proximity to the equator, there is not much seasonal variation in its climate. Hot conditions prevail year-round along with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall. Mean daily maximum temperatures range from 30 to 40 °C (86 to 104 °F), except at higher elevations along the eastern seaboard, where the effects of a cold offshore current can be felt. In Mogadishu, for instance, average afternoon highs range from 28 °C (82 °F) to 32 °C (90 °F) in April. Some of the highest mean annual temperatures in the world have been recorded in the country; Berbera on the northwestern coast has an afternoon high that averages more than 38 °C (100 °F) from June through September. Nationally, mean daily minimums usually vary from about 15 to 30 °C (59 to 86 °F).[149] The greatest range in climate occurs in northern Somalia, where temperatures sometimes surpass 45 °C (113 °F) in July on the littoral plains and drop below the freezing point during December in the highlands.[7][149] In this region, relative humidity ranges from about 40% in the mid-afternoon to 85% at night, changing somewhat according to the season.[149]

The coast south of Mogadishu.

Unlike the climates of most other countries at this latitude, conditions in Somalia range from arid in the northeastern and central regions to semiarid in the northwest and south. In the northeast, annual rainfall is less than 4 inches (100 mm); in the central plateaus, it is about 8 to 12 inches (200 to 300 mm). The northwestern and southwestern parts of the nation, however, receive considerably more rain, with an average of 20 to 24 inches (510 to 610 mm) falling per year. Although the coastal regions are hot and humid throughout the year, the hinterland is typically dry and hot.[149]

There are four main seasons around which pastoral and agricultural life revolve, and these are dictated by shifts in the wind patterns. From December to March is the Jilal, the harshest dry season of the year. The main rainy season, referred to as the Gu, lasts from April to June. This period is characterized by the southwest monsoons, which rejuvenate the pasture land, especially the central plateau, and briefly transform the desert into lush vegetation. From July to September is the second dry season, the Xagaa (pronounced "Hagaa"). The Dayr, which is the shortest rainy season, lasts from October to December.[149] The tangambili periods that intervene between the two monsoons (October–November and March–May) are hot and humid.[149]

Climate data for Mogadishu
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34
Average high °C (°F) 30.2
Average low °C (°F) 23.0
Record low °C (°F) 20
Rainfall mm (inches) 0
Avg. rainy days 0 0 0 5 6 10 9 7 3 2 4 1 47
humidity 78 78 77 77 80 80 81 81 81 80 79 79 79.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 266.6 251.4 282.1 261.0 272.8 219.0 226.3 254.2 264.0 266.6 261.0 257.3 3,082.3
Source #1: Weltwetter Spiegel Online[158]
Source #2: BBC Weather [159]


Until the collapse of the federal government in 1991, the organizational and administrative structure of Somalia's healthcare sector was overseen by the Ministry of Health. Regional medical officials enjoyed some authority, but healthcare was largely centralized. The socialist government of former President of Somalia Siad Barre had put an end to private medical practice in 1972.[160] Much of the national budget was devoted to military expenditure, leaving few resources for healthcare, among other services.[161]

The Gardo General Hospital in Qardho is one of Somalia's many new private healthcare facilities.

Somalia's public healthcare system was largely destroyed during the ensuing civil war. As with other previously nationalized sectors, informal providers have filled the vacuum and replaced the former government monopoly over healthcare, with access to facilities witnessing a significant increase.[162] Many new healthcare centers, clinics, hospitals and pharmacies have in the process been established through home-grown Somali initiatives.[162] The cost of medical consultations and treatment in these facilities is low, at $5.72 per visit in health centers (with a population coverage of 95%), and $1.89–3.97 per outpatient visit and $7.83–13.95 per bed day in primary through tertiary hospitals.[163]

Comparing the 2005–2010 period with the half-decade just prior to the outbreak of the conflict (1985–1990), life expectancy actually increased from an average of 47 years for men and women to 48.2 years for men and 51.0 years for women.[164][165] Similarly, the number of one-year-olds fully immunized against measles rose from 30% in 1985–1990 to 40% in 2000–2005,[164][166] and for tuberculosis, it grew nearly 20% from 31% to 50% over the same period.[164][166] In keeping with the trend, the number of infants with low birth weight fell from 16 per 1000 to 0.3, a 15% drop in total over the same timeframe.[164][167] Between 2005–2010 as compared to the 1985–1990 period, infant mortality per 1,000 births also fell from 152 to 109.6.[164][165] Significantly, maternal mortality per 100,000 births fell from 1,600 in the pre-war 1985–1990 half-decade to 1,100 in the 2000–2005 period.[164][168] The number of physicians per 100,000 people also rose from 3.4 to 4 over the same timeframe,[164][166] as did the percentage of the population with access to sanitation services, which increased from 18% to 26%.[164][166]

According to United Nations Population Fund data on the midwifery workforce, there is a total of 429 midwives (including nurse-midwives) in Somalia, with a density of 1 midwife per 1,000 live births. Eight midwifery institutions presently exist in the country, two of which are private. Midwifery education programs on average last from 12 to 18 months, and operate on a sequential basis. The number of student admissions per total available student places is a maximum 100%, with 180 students enrolled as of 2009. Midwifery is regulated by the government, and a license is required to practice professionally. A live registry is also in place to keep track of licensed midwives. In addition, midwives in the country are officially represented by a local midwives association, with 350 registered members.[169]

A Somali boy receiving a polio vaccination.

According to a 2005 World Health Organization estimate, about 97.9% of Somalia's women and girls underwent female circumcision,[170] a pre-marital custom mainly endemic to Northeast Africa and parts of the Near East.[171][172] Encouraged by women in the community, it is primarily intended to deter promiscuity and to offer protection from assault.[173] By 2013, UNICEF in conjunction with the Somali authorities reported that the prevalence rate among 1 to 14 year old girls in the autonomous northern Puntland and Somaliland regions had dropped to 25% following a social and religious awareness campaign.[174] About 93% of Somalia's male population is also reportedly circumcised.[175]

Somalia has one of the lowest HIV infection rates on the continent. This is attributed to the Muslim nature of Somali society and adherence of Somalis to Islamic morals.[176] While the estimated HIV prevalence rate in Somalia in 1987 (the first case report year) was 1% of adults,[176] a more recent estimate from 2009 now places it at only 0.7% of the nation's adult population.[3]

Although healthcare is now largely concentrated in the private sector, the country's public healthcare system is in the process of being rebuilt, and is overseen by the Ministry of Health. The current Minister of Health is Qamar Adan Ali.[177] The autonomous Puntland region maintains its own Ministry of Health, which is headed by Dr. Mohamed Bashir Ali Bihi,[178] as does the Somaliland region in northwestern Somalia, with its Ministry of Health led by Osman Bile Ali.[179]

Some of the prominent healthcare facilities in the country are East Bardera Mothers and Children's Hospital, Abudwak Maternity and Children's Hospital, Edna Adan Maternity Hospital and West Bardera Maternity Unit.


New Mogadishu University campus

Following the outbreak of the civil war in 1991, the task of running schools in Somalia was initially taken up by community education committees established in 94% of the local schools.[180] Numerous problems had arisen with regard to access to education in rural areas and along gender lines, quality of educational provisions, responsiveness of school curricula, educational standards and controls, management and planning capacity, and financing. To address these concerns, educational policies are being developed which are aimed at guiding the scholastic process. In the autonomous Puntland region, the latter includes a gender sensitive national education policy compliant with world standards, such as those outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).[181] Examples of this and other educational measures at work are the regional government's enactment of legislation aimed at securing the educational interests of girls,[182] promoting the growth of an Early Childhood Development (ECD) program designed to reach parents and care-givers in their homes as well as in the ECD centers for 0–5 year old children,[183] and introducing incentive packages to encourage teachers to work in remote rural areas.[184]

East Africa University's campus in Bosaso.

The Ministry of Education is officially responsible for education in Somalia, and oversees the nation's primary, secondary, technical and vocational schools, as well as primary and technical teacher training and non-formal education. About 15% of the government's budget is allocated toward scholastic instruction.[185] The autonomous Puntland and Somaliland macro-regions maintain their own Ministries of Education.

In 2006, Puntland was the second territory in Somalia after Somaliland to introduce free primary schools, with teachers now receiving their salaries from the Puntland administration.[186] From 2005/2006 to 2006/2007, there was a significant increase in the number of schools in Puntland, up 137 institutions from just one year prior. During the same period, the number of classes in the region increased by 504, with 762 more teachers also offering their services.[187] Total student enrollment increased by 27% over the previous year, with girls lagging only slightly behind boys in attendance in most regions. The highest class enrollment was observed in the northernmost Bari region, and the lowest was observed in the under-populated Ayn region. The distribution of classrooms was almost evenly split between urban and rural areas, with marginally more pupils attending and instructors teaching classes in urban areas.[187]

File:Amoud University.jpg

Entrance to Amoud University in Borama.

Higher education in Somalia is now largely private. Several universities in the country, including Mogadishu University, have been scored among the 100 best universities in Africa in spite of the harsh environment, which has been hailed as a triumph for grass-roots initiatives.[188] Other universities also offering higher education in the south include Benadir University, the Somalia National University, Kismayo University and the University of Gedo. In Puntland, higher education is provided by the Puntland State University and East Africa University. In Somaliland, it is provided by Amoud University, the University of Hargeisa, Somaliland University of Technology and Burao University.

Qu'ranic schools (also known as duqsi) remain the basic system of traditional religious instruction in Somalia. They provide Islamic education for children, thereby filling a clear religious and social role in the country. Known as the most stable local, non-formal system of education providing basic religious and moral instruction, their strength rests on community support and their use of locally made and widely available teaching materials. The Qu'ranic system, which teaches the greatest number of students relative to other educational sub-sectors, is often the only system accessible to Somalis in nomadic as compared to urban areas. A study from 1993 found, among other things, that about 40% of pupils in Qur'anic schools were girls. To address shortcomings in religious instruction, the Somali government on its own part also subsequently established the Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs, under which Qur'anic education is now regulated.[189]


Air Somalia Tupolev Tu-154 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Somalia today has several private airlines.

According to the CIA and the Central Bank of Somalia, despite experiencing civil unrest, Somalia has maintained a healthy informal economy, based mainly on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies and telecommunications.[3][29] Due to a dearth of formal government statistics and the recent civil war, it is difficult to gauge the size or growth of the economy. For 1994, the CIA estimated the GDP at $3.3 billion.[190] In 2001, it was estimated to be $4.1 billion.[191] By 2009, the CIA estimated that the GDP had grown to $5.731 billion, with a projected real growth rate of 2.6%.[3] According to a 2007 British Chambers of Commerce report, the private sector also grew, particularly in the service sector. Unlike the pre-civil war period when most services and the industrial sector were government-run, there has been substantial, albeit unmeasured, private investment in commercial activities; this has been largely financed by the Somali diaspora, and includes trade and marketing, money transfer services, transportation, communications, fishery equipment, airlines, telecommunications, education, health, construction and hotels.[192] Libertarian economist Peter T. Leeson attributes this increased economic activity to the Somali customary law (referred to as Xeer), which he suggests provides a stable environment to conduct business in.[161]

The Central Bank of Somalia indicated around 2010 that the country's GDP per capita is $333, which is lower than that of Kenya at $350, but higher than that of Tanzania at $280 as well as Eritrea at $190 and Ethiopia at $100.[29] However, the CIA puts Somalia's GDP per capita at $600.[3] About 43% of the population live on less than 1 US dollar a day, with about 24% of those found in urban areas and 54% living in rural areas.[29]

Cans of Las Qoray brand tuna fish made in Las Khorey.

As with neighboring countries, Somalia's economy consists of both traditional and modern production, with a gradual shift in favor of modern industrial techniques taking root. According to the Central Bank of Somalia, about 80% of the population are nomadic or semi-nomadic pastoralists, who keep goats, sheep, camels and cattle. The nomads also gather resins and gums to supplement their income.[29]

Agriculture is the most important economic sector of Somalia. It accounts for about 65% of the GDP and employs 65% of the workforce.[192] Livestock contributes about 40% to GDP and more than 50% of export earnings.[3] Other principal exports include fish, charcoal and bananas; sugar, sorghum and corn are products for the domestic market.[3] According to the Central Bank of Somalia, imports of goods total about $460 million per year, surpassing aggregate imports prior to the start of the civil war in 1991. Exports, which total about $270 million annually, have also surpassed pre-war aggregate export levels. Somalia has a trade deficit of about $190 million per year, but this is exceeded by remittances sent by Somalis in the diaspora, estimated to be about $1 billion.[29]

With the advantage of being located near the Arabian Peninsula, Somali traders have increasingly begun to challenge Australia's traditional dominance over the Gulf Arab livestock and meat market, offering quality animals at very low prices. In response, Gulf Arab states have started to make strategic investments in the country, with Saudi Arabia building livestock export infrastructure and the United Arab Emirates purchasing large farmlands.[193] Somalia is also a major world supplier of frankincense and myrrh.[194]

The Port of Bosaso.

The modest industrial sector, based on the processing of agricultural products, accounts for 10% of Somalia's GDP.[3] Up to 14 private airline firms operating 62 aircraft also offer commercial flights to international locations, including Daallo Airlines. With competitively priced flight tickets, these companies have helped buttress Somalia's trade networks.[188][192] In 2008, the Puntland government signed a multi-million dollar deal with Dubai's Lootah Group, a regional industrial group operating in the Middle East and Africa. According to the agreement, the first phase of the investment is worth Dhs 170 m and will see a set of new companies established to operate, manage and build Bosaso's free trade zone and sea and airport facilities. The Bosaso Airport Company is slated to develop the airport complex to meet international standards, including a new 3,400 m (11,200 ft) runway, main and auxiliary buildings, taxi and apron areas, and security perimeters.[195]

Prior to the outbreak of the civil war in 1991, the roughly 53 state-owned small, medium and large manufacturing firms were foundering, with the ensuing conflict destroying many of the remaining industries. However, primarily as a result of substantial local investment by the Somali diaspora, many of these small-scale plants have re-opened and newer ones have been created. The latter include fish-canning and meat-processing plants in the northern regions, as well as about 25 factories in the Mogadishu area, which manufacture pasta, mineral water, confections, plastic bags, fabric, hides and skins, detergent and soap, aluminum, foam mattresses and pillows, fishing boats, carry out packaging, and stone processing.[188] In 2004, an $8.3 million Coca-Cola bottling plant also opened in the city, with investors hailing from various constituencies in Somalia.[196] Foreign investment also included multinationals like General Motors and Dole Fruit.[197]

Payment system[]

The Central Bank of Somalia is the official monetary authority of Somalia.[29] In terms of financial management, it is in the process of assuming the task of both formulating and implementing monetary policy.[198]

500 Somali shilling banknote.

Owing to a lack of confidence in the local currency, the US dollar is widely accepted as a medium of exchange alongside the Somali shilling. Dollarization notwithstanding, the large issuance of the Somali shilling has increasingly fueled price hikes, especially for low value transactions. According to the Central Bank, this inflationary environment is expected to come to an end as soon as the bank assumes full control of monetary policy and replaces the presently circulating currency introduced by the private sector.[198]

Although Somalia has had no central monetary authority for more than 15 years between the outbreak of the civil war in 1991 and the subsequent re-establishment of the Central Bank of Somalia in 2009, the nation's payment system is fairly advanced primarily due to the widespread existence of private money transfer operators (MTO) that have acted as informal banking networks.[199]

These remittance firms (hawalas) have become a large industry in Somalia, with an estimated $1.6 billion USD annually remitted to the region by Somalis in the diaspora via money transfer companies.[3] Most are members of the Somali Money Transfer Association (SOMTA), an umbrella organization that regulates the community's money transfer sector, or its predecessor, the Somali Financial Services Association (SFSA).[200][201] The largest of the Somali MTOs is Dahabshiil, a Somali-owned firm employing more than 2000 people across 144 countries with branches in London and Dubai.[201][202]

As the reconstituted Central Bank of Somalia fully assumes its monetary policy responsibilities, some of the existing money transfer companies are expected in the near future to seek licenses so as to develop into full-fledged commercial banks. This will serve to expand the national payments system to include formal cheques, which in turn is expected to reinforce the efficacy of the use of monetary policy in domestic macroeconomic management.[199]


The World Bank reports that electricity is now in large part supplied by local businesses, using generators purchased abroad. By dividing Somalia's cities into specific quarters, the private sector has found a manageable method of providing cities with electricity. A customer is given a menu of choices for electricity tailored to his or her needs, such as evenings only, daytime only, 24 hour-supply or charge per lightbulb.[192]

Oil blocks in Puntland.

Somalia has untapped reserves of numerous natural resources, including uranium, iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt and natural gas.[3] Due to its proximity to the oil-rich Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the nation is also believed to contain substantial unexploited reserves of oil. A survey of Northeast Africa by the World Bank and UN ranked Somalia second only to Sudan as the top prospective producer.[203] American, Australian and Chinese oil companies, in particular, are excited about the prospect of finding petroleum and other natural resources in the country. An oil group listed in Sydney, Range Resources, anticipates that the Puntland province in the north has the potential to produce 5 billion barrels (790×10^6 m3) to 10 billion barrels (1.6×10^9 m3) of oil,[204] compared to the 6.7 billion barrels of proven oil reserves in Sudan.[205] As a result of these developments, the Somali Petroleum Company was created by the federal government.

According to surveys, uranium is also found in large quantities in the Buurhakaba region. A Brazilian company in the 1980s had invested $300 million for a uranium mine in central Somalia, but no long-term mining took place.[206]

Additionally, the Puntland region under the Farole administration has since sought to refine the province's existing oil deal with Range Resources. The Australian oil firm, for its part, indicated that it looked forward to establishing a mutually beneficial and profitable working relationship with the region's new government.[207]

In mid-2010, Somalia's business community also pledged to invest $1 billion in the national gas and electricity industries over the following five years. Abdullahi Hussein, the director of the just-formed Trans-National Industrial Electricity and Gas Company, predicted that the investment strategy would create 100,000 jobs, with the net effect of stimulating the local economy and discouraging unemployed youngsters from turning to vice. The new firm was established through the merger of five Somali companies from the trade, finance, security and telecommunications sectors. The first phase of the project is scheduled to start within six months of the establishment of the company, and will train youth to supply electricity to economic areas and communities. The second phase, which is slated to begin in mid-to-late 2011, will see the construction of factories in specially designated economic zones for the fishing, agriculture, livestock and mining industries.[208][209]

According to the Central Bank of Somalia, as the nation embarks on the path of reconstruction, the economy is expected to not only match its pre-civil war levels, but also to accelerate in growth and development due to Somalia's untapped natural resources.[29]

Telecommunications and media[]

The Hormuud Telecom building in Mogadishu

Somalia now offers some of the most technologically advanced and competitively priced telecommunications and Internet services in the world.[202] After the start of the civil war, various new telecommunications companies began to spring up and compete to provide missing infrastructure. Funded by Somali entrepreneurs and backed by expertise from China, Korea and Europe, these nascent telecommunications firms offer affordable mobile phone and Internet services that are not available in many other parts of the continent. Customers can conduct money transfers (such as through the popular Dahabshiil) and other banking activities via mobile phones, as well as easily gain wireless Internet access.[210]

After forming partnerships with multinational corporations such as Sprint, ITT and Telenor, these firms now offer the cheapest and clearest phone calls in Africa.[211] These Somali telecommunication companies also provide services to every city, town and hamlet in Somalia. There are presently around 25 mainlines per 1,000 persons, and the local availability of telephone lines (tele-density) is higher than in neighboring countries; three times greater than in adjacent Ethiopia.[188] Prominent Somali telecommunications companies include Golis Telecom Group, Hormuud Telecom, Somafone, Nationlink, Netco, Telcom and Somali Telecom Group. Hormuud Telecom alone grosses about $40 million a year. Despite their rivalry, several of these companies signed an interconnectivity deal in 2005 that allows them to set prices, maintain and expand their networks, and ensure that competition does not get out of control.[210]

Investment in the telecom industry is held to be one of the clearest signs that Somalia's economy has continued to develop despite civil strife in parts of the country.[210] The sector provides key communication services, and in the process facilitates job creation and income generation.[188]

The state-run Somali National Television is the principal national public service TV channel. After a 20 year hiatus, the station was officially re-launched on April 4, 2011.[212] Its radio counterpart Radio Mogadishu also broadcasts from the capital.

Additionally, Somalia has several private television and radio networks. Among these are Universal TV.[3] The political Xog Doon and Xog Ogaal and Horyaal Sports broadsheets publish out of the capital. There are also a number of online media outlets covering local news,[213] including Garowe Online, Wardheernews, Puntland Post and Somalilandtimes.

The internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Somalia is .so. It was officially relaunched on November 1, 2010 by .SO Registry, which is regulated by the nation's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.[214]

In December 2012, the Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunications announced that Somalia's new Federal Government plans to officially re-launch the Somali Postal Service (Somali Post) in 2013.[215]

On March 22, 2012, the Somali Cabinet also unanimously approved the National Communications Act. The bill paves the way for the establishment of a National Communications regulator in the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors.[216]


The Hargeisa International Airport in Hargeisa.

Somalia's network of roads is 22,100 km (13,700 mi) long. As of 2000, 2,608 km (1,621 mi) streets are paved and 19,492 km (12,112 mi) are unpaved.[3] A 750 km (470 mi) highway connects major cities in the northern part of the country, such as Bosaso, Galkayo and Garowe, with towns in the south.[217]

The Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SOMCAA) is Somalia's national civil aviation authority body. After a long period of management by the Civil Aviation Caretaker Authority for Somalia (CACAS), SOMCAA is slated to reassume control of Somalia's airspace by 31 December 2013. In preparation for the transition, staff within Somalia are receiving training, with over 100 airspace personnel scheduled to be transferred to Mogadishu for management duties.[218]

62 airports in various cities across Somalia accommodate aerial transportation; 7 of these have paved runways. Among the latter, four have runways of over 3,047 m; two between 2,438 m and 3,047 m; and one 1,524 m to 2,437 m long.[3] There are 55 airports with unpaved landing areas. One has a runway of over 3,047 m; four are between 2,438 m and 3,047 m in length; twenty are 1,524 m to 2,437 m; twenty-four are 914 m to 1,523 m; and six are under 914 m.[3] Major airports in the nation include the Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu, the Hargeisa International Airport in Hargeisa, the Kismayo Airport in Kismayo, and the Bender Qassim International Airport in Bosaso.

Established in 1964, Somali Airlines was the flag carrier of Somalia. It suspended operations during the civil war.[219][220] However, a reconstituted Somali government later began preparations in 2012 for an expected relaunch of the airline,[221] with the first new Somali Airlines aircraft scheduled for delivery by the end of December 2013.[222] The vacuum has in the interim been filled by various Somali-owned private carriers, such as Jubba Airways, Daallo Airlines and Puntair.[223]

Possessing the longest coastline on the continent,[6] Somalia has several major seaports. Maritime transport facilities are found in the port cities of Mogadishu, Bosaso, Berbera, Kismayo and Merca. There is also one merchant marine. Established in 2008, it is cargo-based.[3]


A Spoon Rest A (P-12) early warning radar unit, part of radar installation operated by Somali troops at the Berbera airport.

The Somali Armed Forces (SAF) are the military forces of the Federal Republic of Somalia.[224] Headed by the President as Commander in Chief, they are constitutionally mandated to ensure the nation's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.[2]

The SAF was initially made up of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police Force and the National Security Service.[225] In the post-independence period, it grew to become among the larger militaries on the continent.[86] The subsequent outbreak of the civil war in 1991 led to the disbandment of the Somali National Army.[226] In 2004, the gradual process of reconstituting the military was put in motion with the establishment of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The Somali Armed Forces are now overseen by the Ministry of Defence of the Federal Government of Somalia, formed in mid-2012. In January 2013, the Somali federal government also re-opened the national intelligence service in Mogadishu, renaming the agency the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA).[227] The Somaliland and Puntland regional governments maintain their own security and police forces.


Young Somali women at a community event in Hargeisa.

Somalia has a population of around 10 million inhabitants;[3] the total population according to the 1975 census was 3.3 million.[228] About 85% of local residents are ethnic Somalis,[3] who have historically inhabited the northern part of the country.[8] They have traditionally been organized into nomadic pastoral clans, loose empires, sultanates and city-states.[229] Civil strife in the early 1990s greatly increased the size of the Somali diaspora, as many of the best educated Somalis left the country.[230]

Non-Somali ethnic minority groups make up the remainder of the nation's population, and are largely concentrated in the southern regions.[8] They include Benadiri, Bravanese, Bantus, Bajuni, Ethiopians, Indians, Persians, Italians and Britons. The Bantus, the largest ethnic minority group in Somalia, are the descendants of slaves who were brought in from southeastern Africa by Arab traders.[231] Most Europeans left after independence.

The country's population is expanding at a growth rate of 2.809% per annum and a birth rate of 43.33 births/1,000 people.[3] The total fertility rate of Somalia is 6.26 children born per woman (2012 estimates), the fourth highest in the world, according to the CIA World Factbook.[3] Most local residents are young, with a median age of 17.6 years; about 45% of the population is between the ages of 0–14 years, 52.5% is between the ages of 15–64 years, and only 2.5% is 65 years of age or older.[3] The gender ratio is roughly balanced, with proportionally about as many men as women.[3]

There is little reliable statistical information on urbanization in Somalia. However, rough estimates have been made indicating a rate of urbanization of 4.2% per annum (2005–10 est.), with many towns quickly growing into cities.[3] Many ethnic minorities have also moved from rural areas to urban centers since the onset of the civil war, particularly to Mogadishu and Kismayo.[232] As of 2008, 37% of the nation's population live in towns and cities, with the percentage rapidly increasing.[3]

Largest cities[]

Template:Largest cities of Somalia


Somali and Arabic are the official languages of Somalia.[2] The Somali language is the mother tongue of the Somali people, the nation's most populous ethnic group.[3] It is a member of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family, and its nearest relatives are the Afar and Saho languages.[233] Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages,[234] with academic studies of it dating from before 1900.

The Osmanya writing script

Somali dialects are divided into three main groups: Northern, Benadir and Maay. Northern Somali (or Northern-Central Somali) forms the basis for Standard Somali. Benadir (also known as Coastal Somali) is spoken on the Benadir coast, from Adale to south of Merca including Mogadishu, as well as in the immediate hinterland. The coastal dialects have additional phonemes which do not exist in Standard Somali. Maay is principally spoken by the Digil and Mirifle (Rahanweyn) clans in the southern areas of Somalia.[235]

A number of writing systems have been used over the years for transcribing the Somali language. Of these, the Somali alphabet is the most widely used, and has been the official writing script in Somalia since the Supreme Revolutionary Council formally introduced it in October 1972.[236] The script was developed by the Somali linguist Shire Jama Ahmed specifically for the Somali language, and uses all letters of the English Latin alphabet except p, v and z. Besides Ahmed's Latin script, other orthographies that have been used for centuries for writing Somali include the long-established Arabic script and Wadaad's writing. Indigenous writing systems developed in the 20th century include the Osmanya, Borama and Kaddare scripts, which were invented by Osman Yusuf Kenadid, Sheikh Abdurahman Sheikh Nuur and Hussein Sheikh Ahmed Kaddare, respectively.[237]

In addition to Somali, Arabic, which is also an Afro-Asiatic tongue,[238] is an official national language in Somalia.[2] Many Somalis speak it due to centuries-old ties with the Arab world, the far-reaching influence of the Arabic media, and religious education.[238][239][240]

English is widely spoken and taught. It used to be a working language in the British Somaliland protectorate. Italian was an official language in Italian Somaliland and during the trusteeship period, but its use significantly diminished following independence. It is now most frequently heard among older generations.[238] Other minority languages include Bravanese, a variant of the Bantu Swahili language that is spoken along the coast by the Bravanese people, as well as Kibajuni, another Swahili dialect that is the mother tongue of the Bajuni minority ethnic group.


The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity in Mogadishu is the largest masjid in the Horn region.

According to the Pew Research Center, 99.8% of Somalia's population is Muslim.[241] The majority belong to the Sunni branch of Islam and the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence.[10] Sufism, the mystical dimension of Islam, is also well established, with many local jama'a (zawiya) or congregations of the various tariiqa or Sufi orders.[242] The constitution of Somalia likewise defines Islam as the state religion of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and Islamic sharia as the basic source for national legislation. It also stipulates that no law that is inconsistent with the basic tenets of Shari'a can be enacted.[2]

Islam entered the region very early on, as a group of persecuted Muslims had, at Prophet Muhammad's urging, sought refuge across the Red Sea in the Horn of Africa.[243] Islam may thus have been introduced into Somalia well before the faith even took root in its place of origin.[244]

In addition, the Somali community has produced numerous important Islamic figures over the centuries, many of whom have significantly shaped the course of Muslim learning and practice in the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and well beyond. Among these Islamic scholars is the 14th-century Somali theologian and jurist Uthman bin Ali Zayla'i of Zeila, who wrote the single most authoritative text on the Hanafi school of Islam, consisting of four volumes known as the Tabayin al-Haqa’iq li Sharh Kanz al-Daqa’iq.

Christianity is a minority religion in Somalia, with adherents representing less than 0.1% of the population in 2010 according to the Pew Research Center.[241] There is one Catholic diocese for the whole country, the Diocese of Mogadishu, which estimates that there were only about 100 Catholic practitioners in 2004.[245]

In 1913, during the early part of the colonial era, there were virtually no Christians in the Somali territories, with only about 100–200 followers coming from the schools and orphanages of the few Catholic missions in the British Somaliland protectorate.[246] There were also no known Catholic missions in Italian Somaliland during the same period.[247] In the 1970s, during the reign of Somalia's then Marxist government, church-run schools were closed and missionaries sent home. There has been no archbishop in the country since 1989, and the cathedral in Mogadishu was severely damaged during the civil war. In December 2013, the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs also released a directive prohibiting the celebration of Christian festivities in the country.[248]

According to the Pew Research Center, less than 0.1% of Somalia's population in 2010 were adherents of folk religions.[241] These mainly consisted of some non-Somali ethnic minority groups in the southern parts of the country, who practice animism. In the case of the Bantu, these religious traditions were inherited from their ancestors in Southeast Africa.[249]

Additionally, according to the Pew Research Center, less than 0.1% of Somalia's population in 2010 were adherents of Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or unaffiliated with any religion.[241]



Various types of popular Somali dishes.

The cuisine of Somalia varies from region to region and consists of an exotic mixture of diverse culinary influences. It is the product of Somalia's rich tradition of trade and commerce. Despite the variety, there remains one thing that unites the various regional cuisines: all food is served halal. There are therefore no pork dishes, alcohol is not served, nothing that died on its own is eaten, and no blood is incorporated. Qaddo or lunch is often elaborate.

Varieties of bariis (rice), the most popular probably being basmati, usually act as the main dish. Spices like cumin, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and sage are used to aromatize these different rice dishes. Somalis serve dinner as late as 9 pm. During Ramadan, supper is often presented after Tarawih prayers; sometimes up to 11 pm.

Xalwo (halva) is a popular confection reserved for special festive occasions, such as Eid celebrations or wedding receptions. It is made from corn starch, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, sugar and ghee. Peanuts are also sometimes added to enhance texture and flavor.[250] After meals, homes are traditionally perfumed using frankincense (lubaan) or incense (cuunsi), which is prepared inside an incense burner referred to as a dabqaad.


Somali singer Aar Maanta performing with his band.

Somalia has a rich musical heritage centered on traditional Somali folklore. Most Somali songs are pentatonic; that is, they only use five pitches per octave in contrast to a heptatonic (seven note) scale like the major scale. At first listen, Somali music might be mistaken for the sounds of nearby regions such as Ethiopia, Sudan or the Arabian Peninsula, but it is ultimately recognizable by its own unique tunes and styles. Somali songs are usually the product of collaboration between lyricists (midho), songwriters (laxan) and singers (codka or "voice").[251]


Somali scholars have for centuries produced many notable examples of Islamic literature ranging from poetry to Hadith. With the adoption of the Latin alphabet in 1972 as the nation's standard orthography, numerous contemporary Somali authors have also released novels, some of which have gone on to receive worldwide acclaim. Of these modern writers, Nuruddin Farah is probably the most celebrated. Books such as From a Crooked Rib and Links are considered important literary achievements, works which have earned Farah, among other accolades, the 1998 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.[252] Faarax M.J. Cawl is another prominent Somali writer who is perhaps best known for his Dervish era novel, Ignorance is the enemy of love.


Ali Said Raygal, Minister of Sports of Somalia's northwestern Somaliland region.

Football is the most popular sport in Somalia. Important domestic competitions are the Somalia League and Somalia Cup, with the Somalia national football team playing internationally.

Basketball is also played in the country. The FIBA Africa Championship 1981 was hosted in Mogadishu from December 15 to December 23, 1981, during which the national basketball team received the bronze medal.[253] The squad also participates in the basketball event at the Pan Arab Games.

In the martial arts, Faisal Jeylani Aweys and Mohamed Deq Abdulle took home a silver medal and fourth place, respectively, at the 2013 Open World Taekwondo Challenge Cup in Tongeren. The Somali National Olympic committee has devised a special support program to ensure continued success in future tournaments.[254] Additionally, Mohamed Jama has won both world and European titles in K-1 and Thai Boxing.[255]


The Citadel of Gondershe.

Somali architecture is a rich and diverse tradition of engineering and designing involving multiple different construction types, such as stone cities, castles, citadels, fortresses, mosques, temples, aqueducts, lighthouses, towers and tombs. Spanning the ancient, medieval and early modern periods in Somalia, it also includes the fusion of Somalo-Islamic architecture with Western designs in contemporary times.

In ancient Somalia, pyramidical structures known in Somali as taalo were a popular burial style, with hundreds of these drystone monuments scattered around the country today. Houses were built of dressed stone similar to the ones in Ancient Egypt.[256] There are also examples of courtyards and large stone walls enclosing settlements, such as the Wargaade Wall.

The adoption of Islam in the early medieval era of Somalia's history brought Islamic architectural influences from Arabia and Persia. This stimulated a shift in construction from drystone and other related materials to coral stone, sundried bricks, and the widespread use of limestone in Somali architecture. Many of the new architectural designs, such as mosques, were built on the ruins of older structures, a practice that would continue over and over again throughout the following centuries.[257]

See also[]

  • Outline of Somalia
  • Index of Somalia-related articles
  • Terrestrial globe.svgGeography portal
  • Africa satellite orthographic.jpgAfrica portal
  • Portal.svgSomalia portal


  1. ^ a b The Federal Republic of Somalia is the country's name per Article 1 of the Provisional Constitution.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The Federal Republic of Somalia – Provisional Constitution". Retrieved 13 March 2013.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Frspc" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Frspc" defined multiple times with different content
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar "Somalia". The World Factbook. Langley, Virginia: Central Intelligence Agency. 
  4. ^ Paul Dickson (August 15, 2006). Labels for Locals : What to Call People from Abilene to Zimbabwe (1st Collins ed.). New York: HarperCollins. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-06-088164-1. 
  5. ^ CIA World Factbook 2011 – Population density. (2011-05-25). Retrieved on 2011-12-15.
  6. ^ a b "Coastline". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2013-08-03. 
  7. ^ a b "Somalia – Climate". 14 May 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c Abdullahi 2001, pp. 8–11.
  9. ^ "Middle East Policy Council – Muslim Populations Worldwide". 2005-12-01. Archived from the original on 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  10. ^ a b Abdullahi 2001, p. 1.
  11. ^ John Kenrick (1855) Phoenicia, B. Fellowes, p. 199.
  12. ^ Jeanne Rose, John Hulburd (1992) The Aromatherapy Book: Applications and Inhalations, North Atlantic Books, p. 94, ISBN 1556430736.
  13. ^ Simon CharnanSimon (1990). Explorers of the Ancient World. Childrens Press. p. 26. ISBN 0-516-03053-1. 
  14. ^ Society For Nautical Research (London) (1984). "The Mariner's mirror". The Mariner's Mirror 66–71. 
  15. ^ Christine El Mahdy (2005) Egypt : 3000 Years of Civilization Brought to Life, Raincoast Books, p. 297, ISBN 1551928795.
  16. ^ Stefan Goodwin (2006) Africa's Legacies of Urbanization: Unfolding Saga of a Continent, Lexington Books, p. 48, ISBN 0739107313.
  17. ^ Laitin 1977, p. 8.
  18. ^ a b Abdisalam M. Issa-Salwe (1996). The Collapse of the Somali State: The Impact of the Colonial Legacy. London: Haan Associates. pp. 34–35. ISBN 187420991X. 
  19. ^ Kevin Shillington (2005) Encyclopedia of African history, CRC Press, p. 1406, ISBN 1579582451.
  20. ^ Samatar 1982, pp. 131, 135.
  21. ^ The Illustrated Library of The World and Its Peoples: Africa, North and East, Greystone Press: 1967, p. 338.
  22. ^ a b Jeffrey Gettleman (2011-06-23). "Harvard-Educated Technocrat Chosen as Somalia Premier". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-06-23. 
  23. ^ a b c Muddassar Ahmed (8 August 2012). "Somalia rising after two decades of civil war and unrest". Al Arabiya. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  24. ^ "Somalia: Somali Leaders Adopt Draft Constitution". ANP/AFP. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  25. ^ "Somali leaders back new constitution". BBC. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  26. ^ "Somalia's newly-endorsed constitution widely hailed". Xinhua. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  27. ^ a b c "Somalia: UN Envoy Says Inauguration of New Parliament in Somalia 'Historic Moment'". Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  28. ^ Dinfin Mulupi. "Mogadishu: East Africa's newest business destination?". Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h "Central Bank of Somalia – Economy and Finance". Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  30. ^ Mark Bradbury; Catholic Institute for International Relations (2008). Becoming Somaliland. Progressio. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-253-35178-4. 
  31. ^ Susan M. Hassig, Zawiah Abdul Latif (2007) Somalia, Marshall Cavendish, p. 22, ISBN 0761420827.
  32. ^ Peter Robertshaw (1990). A History of African Archaeology. J. Currey. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-435-08041-9. 
  33. ^ S. A. Brandt (1988). "Early Holocene Mortuary Practices and Hunter-Gatherer Adaptations in Southern Somalia". World Archaeology 20 (1): 40–56. DOI:10.1080/00438243.1988.9980055. PMID 16470993. 
  34. ^ H.W. Seton-Karr (1909). "Prehistoric Implements From Somaliland" 9 (106): 182–183. Retrieved on 30 January 2011. 
  35. ^ a b c Njoku, Raphael Chijioke (2013). The History of Somalia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 29–31. ISBN 0313378576. 
  36. ^ Dalal, Roshen (2011). The Illustrated Timeline of the History of the World. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 131. ISBN 1448847974. 
  37. ^ Abdel Monem A. H. Sayed, Zahi A. Hawass (ed.) (2003). Egyptology at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century: Archaeology. American Univ in Cairo Press. pp. 432–433. ISBN 9774246748. 
  38. ^ Suzanne Richard (2003) Near Eastern archaeology: a reader, EISENBRAUNS, p. 120 ISBN 1-57506-083-3.
  39. ^ Warmington 1995, p. 54.
  40. ^ a b Warmington 1995, p. 229.
  41. ^ Warmington 1995, p. 187.
  42. ^ Warmington 1995, pp. 185–6.
  43. ^ Briggs, Phillip (2012). Somaliland. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 7. ISBN 1841623717. 
  44. ^ a b Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 25. Americana Corporation. 1965. p. 255. 
  45. ^ a b I.M. Lewis (1955). Peoples of the Horn of Africa: Somali, Afar and Saho. International African Institute. p. 140. 
  46. ^ M. Th. Houtsma (1987). E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936. BRILL. pp. 125–126. ISBN 9004082654. 
  47. ^ A. Nizar Hamzeh and R. Hrair Dekmejian (2010). "A Sufi Response to Political Islamism: Al-Abāsh of Lebanon". International Journal of Middle East Studies 28 (2): 217–229. DOI:10.1017/S0020743800063145. 
  48. ^ Philip Briggs (2012). Bradt Somaliland: With Addis Ababa & Eastern Ethiopia. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 10. ISBN 1841623717. 
  49. ^ a b I. M. Lewis (1999). A Pastoral Democracy: A Study of Pastoralism and Politics Among the Northern Somali of the Horn of Africa. James Currey Publishers. p. 17. ISBN 0852552807. 
  50. ^ I.M. Lewis (1999) A Pastoral Democracy: A Study of Pastoralism and Politics Among the Northern Somali of the Horn of Africa, LIT Verlag Münster, p. 17, ISBN 3825830845.
  51. ^ Jeremy Black (1996) Cambridge Illustrated Atlas, Warfare: Renaissance to Revolution, 1492–1792, Cambridge University Press, p. 9, ISBN 0521470331.
  52. ^ John Donnelly Fage and Roland Anthony Oliver. "{{{title}}}". Journal of African History. 
  53. ^ E. G. Ravenstein (2010). A Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco Da Gama, 1497–1499. Cambridge University Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-108-01296-6. 
  54. ^ Sir Reginald Coupland (1965) East Africa and its invaders: from the earliest times to the death of Seyyid Said in 1856, Russell & Russell, p. 38.
  55. ^ Edward A. Alpers (2009). East Africa and the Indian Ocean. Markus Wiener Publishers. p. 79. ISBN 978-1-55876-453-8. 
  56. ^ Nigel Harris (2003). The Return of Cosmopolitan Capital: Globalization, the State and War. I.B.Tauris. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-1-86064-786-4. 
  57. ^ R. J. Barendse (2002). The Arabian Seas: The Indian Ocean world of the Seventeenth Century /c R.J. Barendse. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 343–. ISBN 978-0-7656-0729-4. 
  58. ^ Alpers 1976.
  59. ^ Caroline Sassoon (1978) Chinese Porcelain Marks from Coastal Sites in Kenya: Aspects of Trade in the Indian Ocean, XIV–XIX Centuries, Vol. 43–47, British Archaeological Reports, p. 2, ISBN 0860540189.
  60. ^ Sir Reginald Coupland (1965) East Africa and Its Invaders: From the Earliest Times to the Death of Seyyid Said in 1856, Russell & Russell, p. 37.
  61. ^ Edward A. Alpers (2009). East Africa and the Indian Ocean. Markus Wiener Publishers. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-55876-453-8. 
  62. ^ Saadia Touval (September 1999). Somali Nationalism: International Politics and the Drive for Unity in the Horn of Africa. Iuniverse Inc. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-58348-411-1. 
  63. ^ Richard H. Shultz; Andrea J. Dew (2006). Insurgents, terrorists, and militias: the warriors of contemporary combat. Columbia University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-231-12982-4. 
  64. ^ a b Paolo Tripodi (1999). The colonial legacy in Somalia: Rome and Mogadishu: from colonial administration to Operation Restore Hope. Macmillan Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-312-22393-9. 
  65. ^ a b c Zolberg, Suhrke & Aguayo 1989, p. 106.
  66. ^ Kwame Anthony Appiah; Henry Louis Gates (26 November 2003). Africana: the encyclopedia of the African and African American experience: the concise desk reference. Running Press. p. 1749. ISBN 978-0-7624-1642-4. 
  67. ^ Helen Chapin Metz, ed. (1992) Somalia: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress.
  68. ^ Federal Research Division (2004) Somalia: A Country Study, Kessinger Publishing, LLC, p. 38, ISBN 1419147994.
  69. ^ Laitin 1977, p. 73.
  70. ^ Francis Vallat (1974) First report on succession of states in respect of treaties: International Law Commission twenty-sixth session 6 May – 26 July 1974, United Nations, p. 20
  71. ^ Laitin 1977, p. 75.
  72. ^ a b c Schraeder 2006, p. 115.
  73. ^ Kevin Shillington (2005) Encyclopedia of African history, CRC Press, p. 360, ISBN 1579582451.
  74. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica (2002) p. 835
  75. ^ "The dawn of the Somali nation-state in 1960". Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  76. ^ "The making of a Somalia state". 2006-08-09. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  77. ^ The Illustrated Library of The World and Its Peoples: Africa, North and East, Greystone Press: 1967, p. 338
  78. ^ Moshe Y. Sachs (1988) Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, Vol. 2, Worldmark Press, p. 290, ISBN 0471624063.
  79. ^ Hussein Mohamed Adam and Richard Ford (1997). Mending rips in the sky: options for Somali communities in the 21st century. Red Sea Press. p. 226. ISBN 1-56902-073-6. 
  80. ^ J. D. Fage, Roland Anthony Oliver (1985) The Cambridge history of Africa, Vol. 8, Cambridge University Press, p. 478, ISBN 0521224098.
  81. ^ a b The Encyclopedia Americana: complete in thirty volumes. Skin to Sumac, Vol. 25, Grolier: 1995, p. 214, ISBN 0717201260.
  82. ^ a b c Peter John de la Fosse Wiles (1982) The New Communist Third World: an essay in political economy, Taylor & Francis, p. 279 ISBN 0-7099-2709-6.
  83. ^ Benjamin Frankel (1992) The Cold War, 1945–1991: Leaders and other important figures in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and the Third World, Gale Research, p. 306 ISBN 0-8103-8928-2.
  84. ^ Oihe Yang (2000) Africa South of the Sahara 2001, 30th ed., Taylor and Francis, p. 1025 ISBN 1-85743-078-6.
  85. ^ Tareke 2009, pp. 182–6. The areas concerned amount to about a third of Ethiopia.
  86. ^ a b Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse (1999) Encyclopedia of international peacekeeping operations, ABC-CLIO, p. 222 ISBN 0-87436-892-8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Ramsbotham" defined multiple times with different content
  87. ^ Focus on the Horn, Issues 7–9. Horn of Africa Information Committee. 1989. p. 37. 
  88. ^ Columbia University, School of International Affairs, Journal of international affairs, Volume 40, (Board of Editors of the Journal of International Affairs: 1986), p. 165.
  89. ^ "Somaliland citizens ask to be recognized as a state". BBC News. 2001-06-04. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  90. ^ "Somaliland votes for independence". BBC News. 2001-05-31. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  91. ^ Al J. Venter (1975) Africa Today, p. 152, ISBN 0-86954-023-8
  92. ^ Library Information and Research Service, The Middle East: Abstracts and index, Volume 2, (Library Information and Research Service: 1999), p.327.
  93. ^ Paul Fricska, Szilard. "Harbinger of a New World Order? Humanitarian Intervention in Somalia". University of British Columbia. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  94. ^ "Somalia: Some key actors in the transitional process". IRIN. 2005-05-06. Retrieved 2007-02-07. 
  95. ^ Ken Rutherford, Humanitarianism Under Fire: The US and UN Intervention in Somalia, Kumarian Press, July 2008, ISBN 1-56549-260-9
  96. ^ "United Nations Operation In Somalia I – (Unosom I)". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  97. ^ "Operation Restore Hope". Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  98. ^ Rick Atkinson (31 January 1994). The Washington Post. 
  99. ^ Red Cross (18 October 1993). "Anatomy of a Disaster". Time Magazine.,9171,979399-2,00.html. Retrieved 19 January 2008. 
  100. ^ "2009 Global Trends: Refugees, Asylum-seekers, Returnees, Internally Displaced and Stateless Persons". UNHCR. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  101. ^ Boutros Boutros Ghali (1999) Unvanquished: A U.S.-U.N. Saga, London: I.B. Tauris & Co., p. 140 ISBN 1-86064-497-X
  102. ^ "Troubled Somalia Mission Extended", BBC News, 22 December 2008 Accessed 25 January 2011
  103. ^ "The worst drought in 60 years in Horn Africa". Africa and Europe in Partnership. 22 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-11-02. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  104. ^ Abdalle Ahmed (2011-07-04) SOMALIA: Government names national drought committee. Retrieved on 2011-12-15.
  105. ^ Fatal Failure: Did Aid Agencies Let Up To 100,000 Somalis Die in 2011?. Time. January 18, 2012.
  106. ^ Warah, Rasna (2 October 2011). "Manufacturing a famine: How Somalia crisis became a fund-raising opportunity". The East African. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  107. ^ a b U.N. Says Famine in Somalia Is Over, but Risks Remain
  108. ^ a b Eliza Ronalds-Hannon. "Behind The Demise Of Somali Pirates". Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  109. ^ Commander, Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs (2008-09-29). "Combined Task Force 150 Thwarts Criminal Activities". US Africa Command. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  110. ^ Alaric Nightingale and Michelle Wiese Bockmann (22 October 2012). "Somalia Piracy Falls to Six-Year Low as Guards Defend Ships". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  111. ^ David Ochami (6 January 2012) Somalia government supports Kenyan forces' mission .
  112. ^ a b Raila Amolo Odinga and H.E Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (31 October 2011) Joint Communique – Operation Linda Nchi. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.
  113. ^ "Kenya: Defense Minister appointed as acting Internal Security Minister". Garowe Online. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  114. ^ Clar Ni Chonghaile (28 September 2012). "Kenyan troops launch beach assault on Somali city of Kismayo". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  115. ^ "Analysis of EUCAP Nestor by the Global Governance Institute". Global Governance Institute. 2012-07-26. 
  116. ^ "Ethiopian Invasion of Somalia". 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  117. ^ a b "Somalia President, Parliament Speaker dispute over TFG term". 2011-01-12. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  118. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2009-05-01). "USCIRF Annual Report 2009 – The Commission's Watch List: Somalia".,USCIRF,,,4a4f272bc,0.html. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  119. ^ "Somalia: Guide to Puntland Election 2009". 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  120. ^ "Opening Annual General Assembly Debate, Secretary-General Urges Member States to Press in Tackling Poverty, Terrorism, Human Rights Abuses, Conflicts". Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  121. ^ "Somalia's president quits office", BBC News, 29 December 2008.
  122. ^ "Somali President Yusuf resigns", Reuters (, 29 December 2008.
  123. ^ Kamaal says: (2010-05-22). "UN boss urges support for Somalia ahead of Istanbul summit". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  124. ^ "Islamists break Somali port truce". BBC News. 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  125. ^ Shariah in SomaliaArab News
  126. ^ "Corruption Perceptions Index 2009". Transparency International. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  127. ^ "Somali-American is new prime minister in Somalia". 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  128. ^ "Approves Somalia's New PM After Repeated Delays". 2010-10-31. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  129. ^ a b "New Somali Prime Minister Unveils Smaller Cabinet". 2010-11-12. Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  130. ^ "Somali Prime Minister Unveiled His Cabinet". 2010-11-12. 
  131. ^ "Somali Lawmakers Pass Proposed Cabinet". Associated Press via Fox News ( Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  132. ^ a b US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2010-11-13). "Somali PM unveils leaner cabinet". Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  133. ^ a b "Somali Premier Unveils New Cabinet". 2010-11-12. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  134. ^ "Somali PM names new cabinet". 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  135. ^ a b c d "Security Council Meeting on Somalia". Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  136. ^ "Somali PM: Anyone in gov't who commits corruption will be brought to justice". 2011-01-04. Archived from the original on 2011-05-15. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  137. ^ a b "Making Gains – AMISOM forces take new territory" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  138. ^ Al-Shabaab ‘dug in like rats’. (2011-08-10). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  139. ^ Somalia: PM Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo resigns. (2011-06-19). Retrieved on 2011-12-15.
  140. ^ "Somali lawmakers elect Mohamud as next president". Reuters. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  141. ^ "Somali president names political newcomer as PM -diplomats". Reuters. 6 October 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  142. ^ "SOMALIA: Parliament approves nomination of new Somali PM Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed". Raxanreeb. 21 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  143. ^ Mary Harper (2012-08-01). "Somali leaders back new constitution". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  144. ^ "President's inauguration marks 'new era' for Somalia, says UN envoy". UN News Centre. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  145. ^ Mahmoud Mohamed (29 August 2012). "Somalia successfully concludes first elections in over 20 years". Sabahi. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  146. ^ "Member states". Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  147. ^ "The Federal Republic of Somalia - Harmonized Draft Constitution". Federal Government of Somalia. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  148. ^ "Guidebook to the Somali Draft Provisional Constitution". Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  149. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hadden, Robert Lee. 2007. "The Geology of Somalia: A Selected Bibliography of Somalian Geology, Geography and Earth Science." Engineer Research and Development Laboratories, Topographic Engineering Center
  150. ^ International Traffic Network, The world trade in sharks: a compendium of Traffic's regional studies, (Traffic International: 1996), p.25.
  151. ^ National Geographic, Vol. 159, National Geographic Society, 1981, p. 765.
  152. ^ a b Geoffrey Gilbert (2004) World poverty, ABC-CLIO, p. 111, ISBN 1851095527.
  153. ^ "Goldman Prize". Horn Relief. 2002-04-22. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  154. ^ a b "International Women's Day – 8 March 2006 – Fatima Jibrell". 2006-03-08. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  155. ^ a b Goldman Environmental Prize. "Fatima Jibrell". Goldman Prize. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  156. ^ "Conservation Heroes Honored by National Geographic, Buffett Foundation". 2008-12-11. Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  157. ^ a b c Jonathan Clayton (2005-03-04). "Somalia's secret dumps of toxic waste washed ashore by tsunami". London: Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  158. ^ "Wetter im Detail: Klimadaten" (in German). Der Spiegel, based on Wetterkontor. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  159. ^ "Average Conditions Mogadishu, Somalia". BBC Weather. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  160. ^ Maxamed Siyaad Barre (1970) My country and my people: the collected speeches of Major-General Mohamed Siad Barre, President, the Supreme Revolutionary Council, Somali Democratic Republic, Vol. 3, Ministry of Information and National Guidance, p. 141.
  161. ^ a b "Better Off Stateless: Somalia Before and After Government Collapse" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  162. ^ a b "Entrepreneurship and Statelessness: A Natural Experiment in the Making in Somalia". 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  163. ^ "Estimates of Unit Costs for Patient Services for Somalia". 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  164. ^ a b c d e f g h UNDP (2001). Human Development Report 2001-Somalia. New York: UNDP.
  165. ^ a b "UNdata – Somalia". 1960-09-20. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  166. ^ a b c d World Bank and UNDP (2003). Socio-Economic Survey-Somalia-2004. Washington, D.C./NewYork: UNDP and World Bank.
  167. ^ World Bank and UNDP (2003). Socio-Economic Survey-Somalia-1999. Washington, D.C./NewYork: UNDP and World Bank.
  168. ^ UNDP (2006). Human Development Report 2006. New York: UNDP.
  169. ^ "The State Of The World's Midwifery". United Nations Population Fund. Accessed August 2011. 
  170. ^ "Prevalence of FGM". 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  171. ^ Rose Oldfield Hayes (1975). "Female genital mutilation, fertility control, women's roles, and the patrilineage in modern Sudan: a functional analysis". American Ethnologist 2 (4): 617–633. DOI:10.1525/ae.1975.2.4.02a00030. 
  172. ^ Herbert L. Bodman, Nayereh Esfahlani Tohidi (1998) Women in Muslim societies: diversity within unity, Lynne Rienner Publishers, p. 41, ISBN 1555875785.
  173. ^ Suzanne G. Frayser, Thomas J. Whitby (1995) Studies in human sexuality: a selected guide, Libraries Unlimited, p. 257, ISBN 156308131.
  174. ^ "Somalia: Female genital mutilation down". Associated Press via The Jakarta Post. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  175. ^ "Male Circumcision and AIDS: The Macroeconomic Impact of a Health Crisis by Eric Werker, Amrita Ahuja, and Brian Wendell :: NEUDC 2007 Papers :: Northeast Universities Development Consortium Conference" (PDF). Center for International Development at Harvard University. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  176. ^ a b Ali-Akbar Velayati, Valerii Bakayev, Moslem Bahadori, Seyed-Javad Tabatabaei, Arash Alaei, Amir Farahbood, Mohammad-Reza Masjedi (2007). "Religious and cultural traits in HIV/AIDS epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa". Archives of Iranian medicine 10 (4): 486–97. PMID 17903054. 
  177. ^ "The Regional Office And Its Partners – Somalia". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  178. ^ Ministry of Health – Puntland State of Somalia. Retrieved on 2011-12-15.
  179. ^ "Somaliland – Government Ministries". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  180. ^ Noel Ihebuzor (2005-01-31). "EC and UNICEF join hands to support education in Somalia". United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  181. ^ Education. Puntland State of Somalia – Ministry of Education
  182. ^ Girls' education. Puntland State of Somalia – Ministry of Education
  183. ^ Children's education. Puntland State of Somalia – Ministry of Education
  184. ^ Education for nomads. Puntland State of Somalia – Ministry of Education
  185. ^ "Somalia – Education Overview". 2004-05-06. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  186. ^ "Puntland (Somalia) to introduce free primary schools". Afrol News. 2006-04-06. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  187. ^ a b "MID-YEAR REVIEW EDUCATION PROGRAM" (PDF). PUNTLAND MINISTRY OF EDUCATION and UNICEF SOMALIA. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  188. ^ a b c d e The African Executive. "Somalia: The Resilience of a People". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  189. ^ "Koranic School Project" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  190. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Somalia (1995)". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  191. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Somalia (2003)". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  192. ^ a b c d "Guide to African Markets". British Chambers of Commerce. 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  193. ^ The Arab countries demand Australian sheep and lambFarmonline
  194. ^ "Expanding Investment Finance in Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  195. ^ "Government of Punt Land State of Somalia, Lootah Investment sign strategic agreements worth Dhs170m". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  196. ^ Amid Somalia's troubles, Coca-Cola hangs on – Africa & Middle EastInternational Herald Tribune
  197. ^ Peter D. Little (2003) Somalia: Economy without State. Indiana University Press, p. 4, ISBN 0852558651.
  198. ^ a b "Central Bank of Somalia – Monetary policy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-05. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  199. ^ a b "Central Bank of Somalia – Payment system". Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  200. ^ "UK Somali Remittances Survey" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  201. ^ a b "Decades of community service recognised with award". Tower Hamlets Recorder. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  202. ^ a b "Freeing Finance: If money makes the world go round, Dahabshiil CEO Abdirashid Duale makes sure it goes to the right people". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  203. ^ Reuters 21 May 2008 (2008-05-21). "Canada's Africa Oil Starts Somalia Seismic Survey". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  204. ^ "Exploration rights in Somalia for Chinese oil giant CNOOC". Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  205. ^ "OPEC: World proven crude oil reserves by country, 1960-2011". OPEC. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  206. ^ Surficial Deposits of Uraniam in the Galmudug State of Somalia – Developments in mining the uranium of Somalia
  207. ^ Mark Hawthorne (4 February 2009). "You're not sacked, you've been realigned". Melbourne: The Age. 
  208. ^ "Somalia business keen to join forces for peace". 2010-05-23. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  209. ^ "Newly-found Somali company to bring peace to country". Xinhua via 2010-05-24. Archived from the original on 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  210. ^ a b c Telecom Firms Thrive in Somalia Despite War, Shattered EconomyThe Wall Street Journal
  211. ^ Christopher J. Coyne (2008) After war: the political economy of exporting democracy, Stanford University Press, p. 154, ISBN 0804754403.
  212. ^ Abdi Hajji Hussein (4 April 2011) After 20 years, Somali president inaugurates national TV station.
  213. ^ Majid Ahmed (11 December 2012). "Radio and electronic media edge out newspapers in Somalia". Sabahi. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  214. ^ SO Registry. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  215. ^ "Somalia to revive its Postal cooperation next year, says minister". Bar-kulan. 10 December. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  216. ^ "Somali government to establish communications regulatory commission". Sabahi. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  217. ^ The First 100 Days in Office. 26 April 2009.
  218. ^ "Somalia to take control of airspace this year". Sabahi. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  219. ^ Africa Review 2003: The Economic and Business Report, Walden Publishing, 2003, p. 299, ISBN 1862170371.
  220. ^ ([[{{{2}}} 1995-4-5|{{{2}}} 1995-4-5]], [[{{{3}}}|{{{3}}}]] – [[{{{2}}} 1995-4-11|{{{2}}} 1995-4-11]], [[{{{3}}}|{{{3}}}]]) "WORLD AIRLINE DIRECTORY – SOMALI AIRLINES" (PDF). Flight International. Retrieved on [[{{{2}}} 2011-10-19|{{{2}}} 2011-10-19]], [[{{{3}}}|{{{3}}}]]. 
  221. ^ "Somalia to revive national airline after 21 years". Laanta. [[{{{2}}} 2012-7-24|{{{2}}} 2012-7-24]], [[{{{3}}}|{{{3}}}]]. Archived from the original on [[{{{2}}} 2012-11-3|{{{2}}} 2012-11-3]], [[{{{3}}}|{{{3}}}]]. Retrieved [[{{{2}}} 2012-11-3|{{{2}}} 2012-11-3]], [[{{{3}}}|{{{3}}}]]. 
  222. ^ "The long awaited Somali Airlines is Coming Back!". Keydmedia Online. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  223. ^ Somalia Private Carriers
  224. ^ "Press Release: AMISOM offers IHL training to senior officials of the Somali National Forces". AMISOM. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  225. ^ Somalia: A Country Study – Army Ranks and Insignia.
  226. ^ Library of Congress Country Study, Somalia, The Warrior Tradition and Development of a Modern Army, research complete May 1992.
  227. ^ "Somalia Re-Opens its National Intelligence & Security Agency". Walta Info. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  228. ^ "Somalia – population". Library of Congress Country Studies.
  229. ^ Abdullahi 2001, p. 138.
  230. ^ Somali DiasporaInner City Press
  231. ^ "The Somali Bantu: Their History and Culture – People". Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  232. ^ Bantu ethnic identities in Somalia. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2011-12-15.
  233. ^ I. M. Lewis (1998) Peoples of the Horn of Africa: Somali, Afar and Saho, Red Sea Press, p. 11, ISBN 156902104X.
  234. ^ Lecarme & Maury 1987, p. 22.
  235. ^ Andrew Dalby (1998) Dictionary of languages: the definitive reference to more than 400 languages, Columbia University Press, p. 571, ISBN 0-7136-7841-0.
  236. ^ Economist Intelligence Unit (Great Britain) Middle East annual review (1975) p. 229
  237. ^ Laitin 1977, pp. 86–7.
  238. ^ a b c Helena Dubnov (2003) A grammatical sketch of Somali, Kِppe, pp. 70–71.
  239. ^ Diana Briton Putman, Mohamood Cabdi Noor (1993) The Somalis: their history and culture, Center for Applied Linguistics, p. 15.: "Somalis speak Somali. Many people also speak Arabic, and educated Somalis usually speak either English or Italian as well. Swahili may also be spoken in coastal areas near Kenya."
  240. ^ Fiona MacDonald et al. (2000) Peoples of Africa, Vol. 10, Marshall Cavendish, p. 178.
  241. ^ a b c d "The Global Religious Landscape". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  242. ^ I. M. Lewis (1998) Saints and Somalis: Popular Islam in a Clan-based Society, The Red Sea Press, pp. 8–9, ISBN 1569021031.
  243. ^ Rafiq Zakaria (1991) Muhammad and The Quran, New Delhi: Penguin Books, pp. 403–4. ISBN 0-14-014423-4
  244. ^ "A Country Study: Somalia from The Library of Congress". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  245. ^ David M. Cheney. "Catholic Church in Somalia". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  246. ^ Charles George Herbermann (1913) The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church, Vol. 14, Robert Appleton Co., p. 139.
  247. ^ Charles Henry Robinson (2007) [1915], History of Christian Missions, READ BOOKS, p. 356.
  248. ^ Khalif, Abdulkadir (25 December 2013). "Somalia bans Christmas celebrations". Daily Nation. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  249. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2002-09-01). "Refugees Vol. 3, No. 128, 2002 UNHCR Publication Refugees about the Somali Bantu". Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  250. ^ Barlin Ali (2007) Somali Cuisine, AuthorHouse, p. 79, ISBN 1425977065.
  251. ^ Abdullahi 2001, pp. 170–1.
  252. ^ "Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage – Nuruddin Farah". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  253. ^ "1981 African Championship for Men". FIBA. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  254. ^ "Somalia moves forward at world Taekwondo". Horseed Media. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  255. ^ "Great Victory for Malta in K1 Kickboxing". Malta Independent. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  256. ^ John G. Jackson, J. Hampden Jackson (1972) Man, God and Civilization, Citadel Press, p. 216, ISBN 0806508582.
  257. ^ Abdullahi 2001, p. 102.


  • Abdullahi, Mohamed Diriye (2001). Culture and Customs of Somalia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-31333-2. 
  • Alpers, Edward A. (1976). "Gujarat and the Trade of East Africa, c. 1500–1800". The International Journal of African Historical Studies 9 (1): 22–44. DOI:10.2307/217389. 
  • Gebru Tareke (2009). The Ethiopian Revolution: War in the Horn of Africa. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-14163-4. 
  • Laitin, David D. (1977). Politics, Language, and Thought: The Somali Experience. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-46791-7. 
  • (1987) "A Software Tool for Research in Linguistics and Lexicography: Application to Somali". Computers and Translation 2 (1): 21–36. DOI:10.1007/BF01540131. 
  • Samatar, Said S. (1982). Oral Poetry and Somali Nationalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-10457-9. 
  • Schraeder, Peter J. (2006). "From Irredentism to Secession: The Decline of Pan-Somali Nationalism". In Lowell W. Barrington, ed., After Independence: Making and Protecting the Nation in Postcolonial and Postcommunist States (pp. 107–137). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-09898-9. 
  • Warmington, Eric Herbert (1995). The Commerce Between the Roman Empire and India. South Asia Books. ISBN 8121506700. 
  • Zolberg, Aristide R.; Suhrke, Astri; Aguayo, Sergio (1989). Escape from Violence: Conflict and the Refugee Crisis in the Developing World. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-195-05592-4. 

External links[]

Definitions from Wiktionary
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Quotations from Wikiquote
Source texts from Wikisource
Images and media from Commons
News stories from Wikinews
Learning resources from Wikiversity

Template:Somalia topics

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Somalia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.