long form: Somali Republic
ISO Country Code: so
Local Time = UTC +3h
Country Calling Code: +252
Capital City: Mogadishu
Other Cities: Baidoa, Beledweyne, Berbera, Bosasso, Gaalkayo, Hargeisa, Jowhar, Kismayo, Merca.
Transitional government, known as the Transitional Federal Government, established in October 2004 with a five-year mandate.
Independence: July 1, 1960 (from a merger between the former Somaliland Protectorate under British rule, and Italian Somaliland, to form the Somali Republic).
Location: Horn of Africa, Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden on the north, and the Indian Ocean on the east, east of Ethiopia and Kenya.
Area: 637,657 km² (246,200 sq mi)
Terrain: Mostly flat savanna and semidesert, to undulating plateau rising to hills in the north.
Climate: Principally desert; hot and dry in the interior and hot and humid in coastal areas.
Two rainy seasons, from April to June and from October to December, each is followed by a dry season, very hot in the south with irregular rainfall in the coastal zone.
Population: (2012) 9.8 million, of which an estimated 2 million live in Somaliland.
Ethnic groups: Somali, with a small non-Somali minority (mostly Bantu and Arabs).
Religion: 99.9% Muslim.
Languages: Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English.
Literacy: total population that can read and write, 38%
Natural resources: Uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves.
Agriculture products: Bananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans; cattle, sheep, goats; fish.
Industries: a few light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, wireless communication.
Exports partners: UAE 48.3%, Yemen 20.8%,Oman 5.8% (2005)
(livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal)
Imports partners: Djibouti 31.8%, India 8.4%,Kenya 8.3%, Brazil 7.9%, Oman 5.6%, UAE5.2%, Yemen 5.1% (2005)
(manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat)
Currency: Somali Shilling (SOS)
A SIAD BARRE regime was ousted in January 1991; turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy followed for nine years. In May of 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland which now includes the administrative regions of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool. Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence, aided by the overwhelming dominance of the ruling clan and economic infrastructure left behind by British, Russian, and American military assistance programs.
The regions of Bari and Nugaal comprise a neighboring self-declared Republic of Puntland, which has also made strides towards reconstructing legitimate, representative government. Beginning in 1993, a two-year UN humanitarian effort (primarily in the south) was able to alleviate famine conditions, but when the UN withdrew in 1995, having suffered significant casualties, order still had not been restored.
A Transitional National Government (TNG) was created in October 2000 in Arta, Djibouti which was attended by a broad representation of Somali clans. The TNG has a three-year mandate to create a permanent national Somali government. The TNG does not recognize Somaliland or Puntland as independent republics but so far has been unable to reunite them with the unstable regions in the south; numerous warlords and factions are still fighting for control of Mogadishu and the other southern regions.
The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has been deeply divided since just after its creation and until late December 2006 controlled only the town of Baidoa. In June 2006, a loose coalition of clerics, business leaders, and Islamic court militias known as the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC) defeated powerful Mogadishu warlords and took control of the capital. The Courts continued to expand, spreading their influence throughout much of southern Somalia and threatening to overthrow the TFG in Baidoa. Ethiopian and TFG forces concerned over suspected links between some SCIC factions and al-Qaida in late December 2006 drove the SCIC from power, but the joint forces continue to fight remnants of SCIC militia in the southwestern corner of Somalia near the Kenyan border. The TFG, backed by Ethiopian forces, in late December 2006 moved into Mogadishu, but continues to struggle to exert control over the capital and to prevent the reemergence of warlord rule that typified Mogadishu before the rise of the SCIC.
(Source: CIA – The World Factbook)
border countries: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya
The Somali flag was adopted on October 12, 1954 and it was inspired by the flag of the United Nations who had previously named the country as a trustee of Italy for 10 years. In 1960 Somalia gained independence and united with the former British Somaliland. The present day Somalia consists of the former Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland nations.
The blue base originates from the flag of the United Nations and it represents the blue sky over Somalia and the UN, who helped the country realize its dream of independence. The white star represents African freedom. The star’s individual points represent the five historical regions inhabited by the Somali people: Italian Somaliland (Somalia), British Somaliland (Somalia), French Somaliland (Djibouti), the Ogaden region of Ethiopia and north Kenya.