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Landscape in northern Somalia
Landscape in northern Somalia (Somaliland)
Image: Vladimir Lysenko

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Flag of Somalia
Location map of Somalia. Where in Africa is Somalia?
Location map of Somalia
A virtual guide to Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, the easternmost country on mainland Africa is situated on the peninsula known as the Horn of Africa.

Somalia is bordering the Gulf of Aden in north, Djibouti in north west, Ethiopia in west, and Kenya in south west, in east it borders the Indian Ocean, and it shares maritime borders with Yemen.

The country covers an area of 637,657 km², compared it is more than twice the size of Poland, or slightly smaller than Texas.

Somalia has a population of 12.3 million people, capital and largest city is Mogadishu, spoken languages are Somali and Arabic (both official).

Somali Republic - Somalia

Country Profile

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.
In January 2009, following the creation of a TFG-ARS unity government, Ethiopian military forces, which had entered Somalia in December 2006 to support the TFG in the face of advances by the opposition Islamic Courts Union (ICU), withdrew from the country. The TFP was doubled in size to 550 seats with the addition of 200 ARS and 75 civil society members of parliament. The expanded parliament elected Sheikh SHARIF Sheikh Ahmed, the former ICU and ARS chairman as president in January 2009.
Since 2012, when a new internationally-backed government was installed, Somalia has been moving slowly towards stability, but its authorities still face challenges from Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabab insurgents. Despite being ousted from most of its key strongholds in south and central Somalia, al-Shabab continues to launch deadly guerrilla attacks against the Somali government and African Union forces across large parts of the horn of Africa nation.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook; BBC; Al Jazeera)



Official Name:
long form: Somali Republic

ISO Country Code: so

Local Time = UTC +3h
Actual Time: Wed-Jan-22  07:46

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.

Nationality: Somali(s)
Population: (2012) 9.7 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 - commodities: livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal

Exports partners: UAE 45.8%, Yemen 19.7%, Oman 15.9% (2015)

Imports - commodities: manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat

Imports - partners: Djibouti 18.7%, India 16.5%, China 11.8%, Oman 8.7%, Kenya 6.1%, Pakistan 4.4% (2015)

Currency: Somali Shilling (SOS)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Somalia

Somalia has been without a central government since President Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991, and much of the territory has been subject to serious civil strife.
In August 2012 Somalia's first formal parliament in more than 20 years is sworn in. In January 2013 the US recognizes Somalia's government. In May 2015 US Secretary of State John Kerry pays brief visit to Mogadishu.

Federal Republic of Somalia
Somalia Federal Republic - Office of the President (in Somali and partly in English).

Somalia Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Website of Somalia's representation to the UN.

Somaliland is a de facto independent republic located on the northern part of the Horn of Africa within the internationally recognized borders of Somalia.

Somaliland Official Website
The Government of Somaliland.

Puntland is a region in northeastern Somalia, bordering Somaliland in west, centered on Somalia's Garowe (Nugaal region). Puntland's leaders declared in 1998 Puntland to be an autonomous state.

Puntland State Of Somalia
The Government of Puntland.


Map of Somalia
Political Map of Somalia.
Google Earth Google Earth Somalia
Searchable map and satellite view of Somalia.
Google Earth Google Earth Mogadishu
Searchable map and satellite view of Somalia's capital city.

Political Map of Africa
The 54 countries of Africa.
Map of Africa
A Relief Map of Africa.


Somali portal with newswires news on Somalia (based in Canada)

News in Somali and partly in English.
Somalia news in Somali and partly in English.

Radio Banadir Broadcasting (RBB)
with News in English and Somali.
RBC Radio
with News in English and Somali.

International News Sources
Al Jazeera - Somalia: The Forgotten Story
VOA News - Spotlight on Somalia
Voice of America Africa Somalia news.

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Arts & Culture

Gallery site of the Somali born painter Mohamed Buwe Osman.

Business & Economy

JUBBA Airways
Somalia based airline.
Star African Airlines
Domestic scheduled and charter flights.


Somalia - Guides

Somalia related portal site.

Ethnic Groups
Portal site of the Somali Maay Population.
National Somali Bantu Organization
US based site for Somali Bantu Refugees.

UN Somalia
Somalia information by the United Nations



Amoud University
First institution of higher learning in Somalia after years of war.
Gollis University
Somaliland’s youngest accredited higher education institution.
Mogadishu University
Non-governmental institution of higher education.
Somali Teacher’s Association Site
SOTAS is an umbrella association serving to facilitate networking and collaborative and cooperative work between members across the education and training sector, and with other education and training, private, nonprofit and governmental partners.
University of Burao
An independent university established in 2004 in Burao, Somaliland.

Environment & Nature

Somali Centre for Water & Environment (SCWE)
Established for Somalia's destroyed environment and water scarcity problems.


Somalia History
by ArabNet

The Somali History
The plight of the Agro-pastoral Society of Somalia (by Mohamed Haji Mukhtar)

History of Somalia
Wikipedia entry about the History of Somalia.


Somali portal
Somalia web directory

Additional Information about Somalia

Africa South of Sahara (Karen Fung) Somalia
ArabNet -- Somalia
BBC Country Profile: Somalia
Background Notes: Somalia
Open Directory Project: Somalia
Wikipedia: Somalia
The World Factbook -- Somalia
 Support UNICEF

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