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Somalia's Information

Flag of Somalia
Land Area 627,337 km2
Water Area 10,320 km2
Total Area 637,657km2 (#43)
Population 10,817,354 (#83)
Population Density 17.24/km2
Government Type Federal Parliamentary Republic
GDP (PPP) $4.72 Billion
GDP Per Capita $400
Currency Shilling (SOS)
Largest Cities

Located in the Horn of Africa, the Federal Republic of Somalia has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period.

Ancient Somalia domesticated the camel during the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC, and developed a profitable trade system.

The Adal and Ajuuraan kingdoms flourished during the Middle Ages, and their successor states continued to thrive through the 19th century. The notorious 'Scramble for Africa' began in the late 19th century, as European powers set their sights on colonizing the continent.

Dervish leader, Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, rallied against the British forces trying to take control, and sparked one of the longest colonial resistance wars in history.

In 1920, following a series of aerial bombardments by Britain, the Dervish state collapsed and its territory turned into a protectorate.

Britain withdrew from British Somaliland in 1960 in order to allow its protectorate to join with Italian Somaliland and form the new nation of Somalia. In 1969, a coup headed by Mohamed Siad Barre ushered in an authoritarian socialist rule that managed to impose a degree of stability in the country for a couple of decades.

Following the regime's overthrow early in 1991, Somalia descended into decades of turmoil, factional fighting and anarchy. In June 2006, a coalition of clerics, business leaders and Islamic court militias, 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.

During 2007 and 2008, Al-Shabaab seized key towns and ports in central and southern Somalia. In January 2009, the Ethiopian troops were forced to withdraw from the country.

President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed resigned from office in December 2008, and a month later Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was elected president.

Conflict continues in the southern and central parts of the country between government troops and extremist Islamist militants with links to al-Qaeda.

A famine struck Somalia in 2011 following the worst drought of East Africa in 60 years. Relief from all over the world poured in, and by February 2012 the UN announced that the food crisis was over.

In spite of the civil unrest, the economy has remained healthy, primarily based on livestock, money transfer companies and telecommunications.

This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.

Somalia Trivia

What Kind of Government Does Somalia Have?

The government of Somalia is headed by the President of Somalia, to whom the Cabinet reports through the Prime Minister.

What Type Of Government Does Somalia Have?

What is the biggest city in Somalia?

Mogadishu is home to 2,425,000 inhabitants making it the largest city in Somalia.

Biggest Cities In Somalia

What are the Ecological Regions of Somalia?

Ecological regions in Somalia include East African Mangroves, the Hobyo Grasslands and Shrublands, and the Ethiopian Montane Forests.

Ecological Regions Of Somalia

What Is The Puntland State Of Somalia?

Puntland State is a self-declared state located in Somalia’s northeastern region. Although the local leaders of Puntland have claimed it as an autonomous state, the international community regards it as an autonomous region of Somalia.

Where is Puntland?

What is the tallest mountain in Somalia?

Mount Shimbiris, also known as Mount Surud Cad, is the tallest mountain in Somalia with an elevation of 8,070 feet above sea level.

Tallest Mountains In Somalia

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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