Somalia Country Overview

Somalia. In Somali language: Soomaaliya, in Arabic: الصومال, As-Sūmāl. Formally known as the Somali Republic, it is a country located in the so-called Horn of Africa, east of the African continent.

To the west and northwest it borders Ethiopia and Djibouti, to the south with Kenya, to the north with the Gulf of Aden, and to the east with the Indian Ocean.

After a long civil war, the country is de facto divided into small states and independent factions, without a power to govern it in its entirety. It is considered a failed state by various media.


According to Thesciencetutor, the history of the present territory of Somalia dates back to ancient times, when the region was known to the ancient Egyptians. Between the second century and the seventh century AD, various parts of the territory were included in the Ethiopian reign of Aksum. A short time later, certain Arab tribes settled along the coast of the Gulf of Aden and founded a sultanate there centered on the port of Zeila. At the same time, the country became Islamized due to the influence of Shiites from Iran. However, the residents kept their ancestral languages instead of adopting Arabic.

Starting in the thirteenth century, Somalis and nomadic herders settled in the north of the horn of Africa, began to migrate to the current region of Somalia. Previously the Oromo, pastoralists-farmers, had initiated a migration towards the Ogaden and the Abyssinian plain. All these peoples settled permanently in the territory. Some Arab peoples tried to take over the territory and many Somalis were moving abroad, especially towards Ethiopia.

1884-1905 United Kingdom and tribes

1905-1960 United Kingdom and Italy
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the British and Italians established headquarters in this region.

Somali Republic (1960-1969)
The current Somalia emerged 1 of July of 1960 with the union of the territories of the Protectorate of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland until then part of Italian East Africa.

The Somali Youth League remained in power in the 1960s, under President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke. Shermarke was assassinated in 1969, and a military coup established Mohamed Siad Barre as president.

Somali Democratic Republic (21.10.1969-1.01.1991)
During this time, Somalia maintained close relations with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), but when the latter supported Somalia’s rival Ethiopia in the war between the two, Somalia became turned to the West. The economic situation of the country was very delicate.

Faced with this dire economic situation, an armed opposition emerged in the north of the country in 1987. In 1990, this group acquired control of most of the territory, de facto dissolving the previously existing Somali state.

The opposition group divided in 1991 for different reasons, among them the traditional enmities between different clans and ethnic groups; the Somali Patriotic Movement (MPS) in the south, and the Somali National Movement (MNS) in the north. On the other hand, the Somali United Congress (CUS) group took the capital of the country, causing the departure of President Barre.

Anarchy (1991-2008)
Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, established a government in the north, called Somaliland, which was followed by the secession the same year from Jubaland, later disappeared, none of which was recognized by the rest of the countries. Since then the country has lacked a central government, being characteristic the dominance of certain groups in some territories.

In July of 2000 delegates gathered reconciliation conference in Arta, Djibouti, they passed a national law that would act as the constitution of Somalia for a transitional period of three years. This constitution guaranteed Somalis freedom of expression and association, human rights, and carried out a separation of powers, guaranteeing their independence. During this transitional period, the Somali Republic adopted a federal system of government, with 18 regional administrations. The National Transitional Assembly exercised legislative power.

It consisted of 245 members: 44 seats from each of the four major clans (Dir, Hawiye, Darod and Oigil) and 24 from the minor clans alliance, as well as 20 for highly influential Somalis and 25 for women. It was inaugurated in August 2000 and elected the first president of the Transitional Government of Somalia, Abdiqasim Salad Hassan, who among other things, intervened militarily in Jubaland in 2004.

The Second Battle of Mogadishu began in May of 2006 between the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) and militias loyal to the Union of Islamic Courts. By June 5, at least 350 people had died in the crossfire.

Throughout 2007, both Jubaland, as well as most of the territories controlled by the Union of Islamic Courts, as well as Galmudug, progressively passed into the hands of the Transitional Government of Somalia, leaving the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland, and to a lesser extent the “autonomous” state of Puntland, as the main obstacles to the total reunification of the former Somalia, together with the armed actions of the remains of the ICU. That same year, a part of the UCI became the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia (ARS).

ARS and the Government Transitional Somalia agreed to in October of 2008 to extend the Parliament and form a unity government, which led in January 2009 to the election of the third president of the Transitional Government of Somalia, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who had been previously member of the Union of Islamic Courts, in an attempt to create a national government that would ultimately pacify all factions.

Administrative divition

Somalia is administratively divided into 18 regions:

· 1.Awdal,· 2.Bakool

· 3.Banaadir

· 4.Bari

· 5.Bay

· 6.Galguduud· 7.Gedo

· 8.Hiiraan

· 9.Jubbada Dhexe

· 10.Jubbada Hoose

· 11.Mudug· 12.Nugaal

· 13.Sanaag

· 14.Shabeellaha Dhexe

· 15 Shabeellaha Hoose· 16.Sool

· 17.Togdheer

· 18. Woqooyi Galbeed


Somalia, the easternmost country in Africa, occupies an area of 637,540 km². It is situated at the tip of a region commonly known as the Horn of Africa, due to its resemblance on the map to a rhino horn, of which Ethiopia and Djibouti are also part.

Somali territory is mainly made up of plains, plateaus, and highlands. In the north, however, the Karkaar Mountain ranges at varying distances from the Gulf of Aden. The weather is warm throughout the year with inclement summers, except in the higher altitude territories in the north of the country. Despite being located on the terrestrial equator, rainfall in the country is rare, and most of Somalia is in arid semi-arid terrain, suitable only for nomadic herding practiced by more than half of the population. Only in areas of moderate rainfall, in the northwest and southwest, where the two major rivers of the country meet, is agriculture of any importance practiced.

Local geology suggests the presence of valuable mineral deposits. The long coastline of Somalia (3,025 kilometers) has been of historical importance, since it allowed the commerce of the Middle East with East Africa and currently as an obligatory way to the Suez Canal.


Its economy is based on livestock and various exports to nations such as India, Oman, Qatar, among others. At present, Somalia depends mainly on foreign aid for its development. The mineral deposits and wealth are not being exploited because the socio-economic situation does not allow it.

Key facts about the Somalia economy

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): – $ 5.896 billion (2010 est.)
  • Imports: $ 798 million (2006)
  • Imports – origin: Djibouti 30.84%, Kenya 8.06%, India 86%, China 6.97%, Brazil 6.59%, Yemen 4.97%, Oman 4.72%, UAE 4.6 % (2009)
  • Exports: $ 300 million (2006)
  • Exports – destination: UAE 58.27%, Yemen32%, Saudi Arabia 3.78% (2009)


Ethnic groups: Somali ethnic 92.4%, Arab ethnic 2.2%, Afar 1.3%, others 4.1% (2000)

Religion: Islam 99%, Catholic Church about 100 (2013)

  • Diocese of Mogadishu, 1975, 1905

95% of women have female genital mutilation [2]


Republic of Somaliland, popularly known as Somaliland (in Somali: Soomaaliland). It is a de facto independent state that became self-independent from Somalia in 1991 [1] and proclaimed itself a presidential republic, despite its proclamation as a de facto state, the vast majority of the countries of the world do not recognize its independence and see it as a region. Autonomous Somalia. This country is located northwest of Somalia, in the so-called Horn of Africa, east of the African continent. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Aden, to the east with Puntland, to the south and southwest with Ethiopia, and to the west with Djibouti (58 km). The administrative regions under its power are Awdal, Hargeisa, Togdheer, Saaxil, Sanaag and Sool.

Somaliland has its own government, currency and constitution, and even better economic development, as well as greater political stability than Somalia, aided by the influence of a dominant clan. In September 2005, multiparty elections were held in which the UDUB party won, with the participation of observers from seven countries (Canada, Finland, Kenya, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zimbabwe.), who declared that the elections were free and fair, allowing Somaliland a push for international recognition as a sovereign state. In the summer of 2012 Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Somaliland Head of Government Ahmed Silanyo met to sign a reconciliation agreement in Dubai, known as the Dubai Charter, ending 20 years of separation and lack of of contact between both countries.

Somalia Country Overview