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The Country & People of Somalia

Somalia

This page contains links to sites in Somalia and Somalia related sites.
For Middle East, North Africa, Arab and regional information visit Arab Countries

 

Somalia, country (1995 est. pop. 7,348,000), 246,200 sq mi (637,657 sq km), E Africa, directly south of the Arabian Peninsula across the Gulf of Aden, also bordered by Ethiopia and Kenya (W), Djibouti (NW), and the Indian Ocean (E). Mogadishu is the capital; other large cities are Hargeisa, Berbera, and Kismayo. The country is arid and semidesert, with a barren coastal lowland rising to the great interior plateau (generally 3,000 ft/910 m high), which stretches to the northern and western highlands. Pastoralism is the dominant mode of life, and herding (both nomadic and sedentary) of cattle, sheep, goats, and camels is the principal occupation. Livestock, charcoal, bananas, hides, and fish make up the bulk of exports. The major cash crops are bananas, mangoes, and sugarcane; subsistence crops include sorghum and corn. Processing of raw materials constitutes the bulk of the small industry. The most valuable mineral resource is uranium; many other minerals are largely unexploited. Petroleum deposits have been found, and a refinery was built in 1979. However, much industry has been shut down due to civil strife. The Somali, who are the vast majority of the population, are divided into many clans and subclans. There are Italian, Indian, and Pakistani minorities. Islam is the state religion. Somali is the official language, but Arabic, English, and Italian are in wide use.

History
Muslim Arabs and Persians established trading posts along Somalia's coasts from the 7th to 10th cent., and Somali warriors joined Muslim sultanates in their battles with Christian Ethiopia in the 15th and 16th cent. Britain, France, and Italy began to dominate the region in the 19th cent. Britain established a protectorate in 1887 and concluded an agreement with France in 1888 defining their Somali possessions. Italy created a small protectorate in 1889, added territory in the south, and in 1925 detached Jubaland from Kenya. Somali-speaking districts of Ethiopia were combined with Italian Somaliland in 1936 to form Italian East Africa. Britain conquered Italian Somaliland in World War II, and renamed Somalia, it gained internal autonomy in 1956 and independence and unification with British Somaliland in 1960. The presence of some 350,000 Somalis in neighboring countries stirred demands for a Greater Somalia, and fighting erupted with Ethiopia in 1964 over the Ogaden region, which Somalia claims.

In 1969 a coup led by Maj. Gen. Muhammad Siyad Barre resulted in a socialist state. In 1977 the corrupt and repressive regime broke with the USSR over Soviet aid to Ethiopia and received aid during the 1980s from the U.S. The Somali army invaded the Ogaden region in 1977 but was defeated (1978) by Ethiopian forces; skirmishes continued into the early 1980s. Barre was ousted (1991) by rebels after intense and bloody fighting. The Somali National Movement gained control of the north, the old British Somaliland, and proclaimed it the Somaliland Republic. The north remained relatively peaceful, although clan-based fighting has occurred.

In Mogadishu and most of the south the United Somali Congress achieved control, but savage warfare erupted between rival subclans. Almost a quarter of the population faced starvation because of the fighting. UN food supplies and peacekeepers arrived in 1992 and were soon joined by troops from the U.S. and other nations to assure distribution of food aid. A national cease-fire was signed, but no central government was formed. Fighting again erupted (1993) in Mogadishu as the UN unsuccessfully attempted to arrest Gen. Mohammed Farah Aidid. The U.S. and other nations withdrew their troops in 1994 and the last UN forces were withdrawn in 1995. That year some factions again proclaimed Aidid president, but the country remained divided into spheres of influence with no central government. Aidid died from battle wounds in 1996, and his faction chose his son, former U.S. Marine Hussein Mohammed Farah, to succeed him.

The country was devastated by floods in 1997, and in the late 1990s was still without any organized, internationally recognized government. Breakaway states were declared in Puntland (NE) and Jubaland (S) in 1998. In 2000 a S Somali conference in Djibouti established a national charter and elected a 225-national assembly and a president, Abdikassim Salad Hassan. Salad returned to Somalia in August, but several militias have refused to recognize the new government (which has little real authority). Somaliland voted (2001) to remain independent, and in 2002 warlords in SW Somalia formed another breakaway government in Baidoa.

A cease-fire accord (Oct. 2002) among all major factions except Somaliland failed to halt all fighting, and subsequent talks failed to produce significant results. Meanwhile, the mandate of the essentially symbolic interim government expired in Aug., 2003, but the president withdrew from talks, refused to resign, and had the prime minister (who remained involved in the talks) removed from office. In Sept., 2004, after many delays, a 275-member parliament was convened (in Kenya) under the new charter, and a new president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, was elected in October. Yusuf, a former general who had served as president of Puntland, and the parliament are to serve for five years. Somaliland remained a nonparticipant in the transitional government.

Copyright (c) 2003 Columbia University Press.
Used by permission of Columbia University Press.

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All sites are in English or an English version is available except where indicated with flag(s) without "+".
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About Somalia

General Information Also see Travel
All Referer Earth & environment, history, literature & arts, people, places, plants & animals, religion, science & technology, sports & everyday life....
Arab DataNet Country profile, key facts, overview, economic review, political structure, sector analysis, investment, government, companies....
ArabInfo Overview, government, history, links
ArabNet Overview, history, geography, business, culture, government, transport, tour guide, links
Atlapedia Geography, climate, people, demography, religion, education, modern history, currency, other information....
BBC Country Profile Key facts, figures and dates
Britannica.Com Country info, land, people, economy, society, government, history, culture, maps, statistics, links....
CIA World Factbook Map, geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, issues
Country Reports Economy, defense, geography, government, people, anthem, map, news, weather, links....
Encarta OnLine Info, land & resources, population, economy, government, history, other related items, links....
Expedia Almanac, fast facts, communications, on business, health & safety, transportation, traveler's directory
Info Please General info, map, geography, government, history, land & people....
Nation By Nation Info, government, human rights, news, geography, history, people, links....
US Department of State - Background Notes People, history, government, political conditions, economy, travel, business, foreign relations....
US Library of Congress Everything you ever wanted to know about Somalia....
World66 General info, cities, history, people, economy, getting around, getting there, links....

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Bravanese.Com Comprehensive information about the coastal town of Brava....
Mogadiscio.Com Information & guide....

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World Clock Local time, sunrise, sunset, GMT offset, daylight saving....
World Paper Money Paper currency since 1951
 
 

About Somalia * Business * Culture * Education * History * Media * Organizations * Travel * Gateways * Arab Countries

Business and Economy

General, Economy, Reports & Statistics
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Fact sheet (pdf) & travel information....
Bilateral Relations with Japan Diplomatic, investment, economic cooperation, residents....
MBendi Business information, news, industries, events
Muslim Trade Network Trade reference directory and guide....
Organization of Islamic Countries +Arabic The most comprehensive database: statistical, economic and social
Ports Focus Ports, harbours, marinas....
Somalia and the IMF Position in the fund, reports....
US Department of Energy Analysis, information, oil, natural gas, coal, electricity....
World Bank Overview, news & events, data & statistics, publications & reports, development topics, projects & programs, Public Information Center

Banks

Directories, Job Opportunities

Investment & Promotion....

 

 

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Art, Culture & Sport

General Resources, Heritage....

Art, Literature, Photography, Cinema....

Internet Movie Database Movie & TV reports

Music, Song & Dance....

Mohiadin Songwriting, singing, composing....
Somali Lyrics A music community where people can find Somali lyrics, music in mp3 format and other music related information about artist

Cultural, Scientific, Environmental, Sporting Entities & Info

ACARO Youth Organization +Somali Somaliland Youth Organizations: Challenges and Opportunities....

 

Animal Info Threatened species, environmental and social data
AquaStat Information on quantity and quality of freshwater and its availability

About Somalia * Business * Culture * Education * History * Media * Organizations * Travel * Gateways * Arab Countries

Education

Schools, Colleges, Academies, Universities & Polytechnics
Amoud University - Borama Academic specialization in all fields and at all levels

Institutions & Organizations

Research, Resources & Projects


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BBC Timeline A chronology of key events
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Amnesty International +Francais Espanol News, reports, urgent action. Latest annual report....
Human Rights Watch +Arabic Other languages Human rights developments & report
US Department of State Country reports on human rights practices

 

SomaliaWatch +Somali Focus on the governance and human rights situation in Somalia

Related Sites, Articles....

Constitution Background, history & news
Elections Results, parties, parliament, electoral institutes, electoral calendar, political database....

About Somalia * Business * Culture * Education * History * Media * Organizations * Travel * Gateways * Arab Countries

Visit Arab Media for satellite stations & Arab newspapers

Media

Newspapers, Magazines....

OnLine News, Newsletters, News Agencies....

AllAfrica.Com News plus, news wire....
ArlaadiNet +Somali News & updates, Somali history, human rights, Maay language....
Banadir OnLine News
Hiiraan OnLine +Somali News & updates
Somalia News Online news....
SomaliLand Gateway to news & information
SomaliPress +Somali News & updates
Xeraale +Somali News Update, Opinion....
Washington Post News & references
Wargeyska Daryeelpress Somali Online news....
Yahoo full news coverage

Radio, TV, Internet....

Articles, Reports, Cartoons....

One World +Other languages Archives, articles and news from different sources

About Somalia * Business * Culture * Education * History * Media * Organizations * Travel * Gateways * Arab Countries

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Government & Organizations....

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Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members
Political Leaders Dates and figures of the leadership since 1960 (with pictures)

Corporations, Organizations, Public Hospitals and Industrial Entities

Centers, Institutions, Societies....

Foreign Entities

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières Activities, news, press releases....
United Nations United Nations Development Programme
US Committee for Refugees +Francais Reports on conditions for refugees and internally displaced persons
USAID Assistance to Somalia....
World Food Programme Fight against global hunger....
World Health Organization Tobacco & health, socio-economic situation

About Somalia * Business * Culture * Education * History * Media * Organizations * Travel * Gateways * Arab Countries

Travel & Tourism

Airlines, Air, Sea & Coach Charters Services
Daallo Airlines Passenger and cargo airline for Somalia and Djibouti

 

Airports Airport names, cities and codes

Travel, Tours, Guides.... More country info

Africa Guide Introduction, visitor info, accommodation, tours....
Lonely Planet Travel information
Travel Guide General & travel info, money, duty free, health, accommodation, visas....
World Travel Guide Travel information, regions & places....

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All Hotels Hotels, description & rates
Inn26 Hotels and motels directory, local info....
 

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CDC Travel Information Outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Kenya and Somalia
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Travel Document Systems Passports, visas, travel documents
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Tide Calendar Tide times, sunset, sunrise and global position
Weather Underground Temperature, humidity, pressure and conditions by city
Yahoo Weather By city. Forcast, sunrise, sunset, humidity, wind, dewpoint....

About Somalia * Business * Culture * Education * History * Media * Organizations * Travel * Gateways * Arab Countries

Visit Arab Gateways for Arab and other country links

Gateways to Somalia

Abyssinia Gateway Links....
SomaliHome +Somali Gateway & news
SomaliLand OnLine +Somali Gateway & news
SomaliNet +Somali Gateway & news
SomaliUK Portal For News, Chat Rooms, Culture, Music, and Forums....

Special Sites

Digital Dialects: Somali Language Interactive games for acquiring Somali vocabulary

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