Worldwide Travel Information (area) World Countries > Africa > Somalia
SomaliaSomali is a country located in the Somali _so_trip_horn.html" style="text-decoration:inherit;">Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Somali _so_trip_ethiopia.html" style="text-decoration:inherit;">Ethiopia to the west, Somali _so_trip_djibouti.html" style="text-decoration:inherit;">Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Somali _so_trip_indian.html" style="text-decoration:inherit;">Indian Ocean to the east, and Somali _so_trip_kenya.html" style="text-decoration:inherit;">Kenya to the southwest. Somali has the longest coastline on the continent, and its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands. Hot conditions prevail year-round, along with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall.
About 85% of local residents are ethnic Somali , who have historically inhabited the northern part of the country. Ethnic minority groups make up the remainder of the nation's population, and are largely concentrated in the southern regions.
Somali and Arabic are the official languages of Somali , both of which belong to the Afro-Asiatic family. Most people in the territory are Muslims, the majority being Sunni.
In antiquity, Somali was an important centre for commerce with the rest of the ancient world, and according to most scholars, it is among the most probable locations of the fabled ancient Land of Punt. During the Middle Ages, several powerful Somali empires dominated the regional trade, including the Ajuuraan State, the Sultanate of Adal, the Warsangali Sultanate and the Gobroon Dynasty. In the late nineteenth century, the British and Italians gained control of parts of the coast, and established British Somali and and Italian Somali and. In the interior, Muhammad Abdullah Hassan's Dervish State successfully repulsed the British Empire four times and forced it to retreat to the coastal region, but the Dervishes were finally defeated in 1920 by British airpower.
Italy acquired full control of their parts of the region in 1927. This occupation lasted until 1941, when it was replaced by a British military administration. Northern Somali would remain a protectorate, while southern Somali became a United Nations Trusteeship. In 1960, the two regions were united to form an independent Somali Republic under a civilian government. 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, Somali 's residents reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, consisting of civil law, religious law and customary law. A few autonomous regions, including the Somali and, 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 its successor the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2004, which reestablished national institutions such as the Military of Somali .
In 2006, the TFG, assisted by Somali _so_trip_ethiopia.html" style="text-decoration:inherit;">Ethiopia troops, assumed control of most of the nation's southern conflict zones from the newly formed Islam c 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, with the insurgents losing most of the territory that they had seized by mid-2012. In 2011-2012, a Roadmap political process providing clear benchmarks leading toward the establishment of permanent democratic institutions was launched. Within this administrative framework, a new Provisional Constitution was passed in August 2012, which designates Somali as a federation.
Following the end of the TFG's interim mandate the same month, the Federal Government of Somali , the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the civil war, was also formed. The nation has concurrently experienced a period of intense reconstruction, particularly in the capital, Mogadishu. Through the years, Somali has maintained an informal economy, based mainly on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies, and telecommunications.