Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia (Somali: Jamhuuriyadda Federaalka Soomaaliya, Arabic: جمهورية الصومال الفدرالية Jumhūriyyat aṣ-Ṣūmāl al-Fiderāliyya), is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the eastSony PCG-71313M battery, and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia 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.
Somalia has a population of around 10 million inhabitants. About 85% of local residents are ethnic Somalis, who have historically inhabited the northern part of the countrySony PCG-71212M battery. 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 Somalia, both of which belong to the Afro-Asiatic family. Most people in the territory are Muslims, the majority being Sunni. Sony PCG-71311M battery
In antiquity, Somalia 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 Adal SultanateSony PCG-71213M battery, the Warsangali Sultanate and the Geledi Sultanate. In the late nineteenth century, through a succession of treaties with these kingdoms, the British and Italians gained control of parts of the coast, and established British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. 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, Sony PCG-61211M battery but the Dervishes were finally defeated in 1920 by British airpower. Italy acquired full control of the northeastern and southern parts of the territory after successfully waging a Campaign of the Sultanates against the ruling Somali kingdoms. This occupation lasted until 1941, when it was replaced by a British military administration. Northern Somalia would remain a protectorate, while southern Somalia became a United Nations TrusteeshipSONY VAIO PCG-21212M battery. In 1960, the two regions united to form the 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, Somalia's residents reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, consisting of civil law, religious law and customary lawSONY VAIO PCG-21211M battery. A few autonomous regions, including the Somaliland, 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 2004SONY VAIO PCG-51212M battery, which reestablished national institutions such as the Military of Somalia. In 2006, the TFG, assisted by Ethiopian troops, assumed control of most of the nation's southern conflict zones from the newly formed Islamic 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, SONY VAIO PCG-51211M batterywith 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 Somalia as a federation. Following the end of the TFG's interim mandate the same month, the Federal Government of SomaliaSONY VAIO PCG-51112M battery, 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, Somalia has maintained an informal economy, based mainly on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies, and telecommunicationsSONY VAIO PCG-51111M battery.
Somalia has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic period. Cave paintings said to date back to 9000 BC have been found in the northern part of the country. The most famous of these is the Laas Gaal cultural complex, which contains some of the earliest known rock art on the African continent. Undeciphered inscriptions have also been discovered beneath each of the cave paintings. During the Stone Age, the Doian and the Hargeisan cultures flourished here.SONY VAIO PCG-81212M battery
The oldest evidence of burial customs in the Horn of Africa comes from cemeteries in Somalia dating back to the 4th millennium BC. The stone implements from the Jalelo site in northern Somalia were characterized in 1909 as "the most important link in evidence of the universality in palaeolithic times between the East and the West".Sony VAIO PCG-81112M battery
Antiquity and classical era
Main article: Architecture of Somalia
The Silk Road extending from southern Europe through Arabia, Somalia, Egypt, Persia, India and Java until it reaches China.
Ancient pyramidal structures, tombs, ruined cities and stone walls found in Somalia, such as the Wargaade Wall, are evidence of an ancient sophisticated civilization that once thrived in the Somali peninsula. SONY VAIO PCG-71111M battery The findings of archaeological excavations and research in the area show that this civilization had an ancient writing system that remains undeciphered, and enjoyed a lucrative trading relationship with Ancient Egypt and Mycenaean Greece since at least the 2nd millennium BC. This supports evidence of Somalia being the ancient Land of Punt. The Puntites "traded not only in their own produce of incense, ebony and short-horned cattleSONY VAIO PCG-7196M battery, but also in goods from other neighboring regions, including gold, ivory and animal skins." According to the temple reliefs at Deir el-Bahari, the Land of Punt was ruled at that time by King Parahu and Queen Ati.
Ancient Somalis domesticated the camel somewhere between the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC from where it spread to Ancient Egypt and North Africa. In the classical period, the city states of MossylonSONY VAIO PCG-7195M battery, Opone, Malao, Mundus and Tabae in Somalia developed a lucrative trade network connecting with merchants from Phoenicia, Ptolemaic Egypt, Greece, Parthian Persia, Saba, Nabataea and the Roman Empire. They used the ancient Somali maritime vessel known as the beden to transport their cargo.
Ruins of Qa’ableh.
After the Roman conquest of the Nabataean Empire and the Roman naval presence at Aden to curb piracySONY VAIO PCG-7194M battery, Arab and Somali merchants by agreement barred Indian ships from trading in the free port cities of the Arabian peninsula to protect the interests of Somali and Arab merchants in the extremely lucrative ancient Red Sea–Mediterranean Sea commerce. However, Indian merchants continued to trade in the port cities of the Somali peninsula, which was free from Roman interference. SONY VAIO PCG-7192M battery
The Indian merchants for centuries brought large quantities of cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Indonesia to Somalia and Arabia. This is said to have been the best kept secret of the Arab and Somali merchants in their trade with the Roman and Greek world. The Romans and Greeks believed the source of cinnamon to have been the Somali peninsula, but in reality, the highly valued product was brought to Somalia by way of Indian ships. SONY PCG-8113M battery Through collusive agreement by Somali and Arab traders, Indian/Chinese cinnamon was also exported for far higher prices to North Africa, the Near East and Europe, which made the cinnamon trade a very profitable revenue generator, especially for the Somali merchants through whose hands large quantities were shipped across ancient sea and land routes. SONY PCG-8112M battery
Birth of Islam and the Middle Ages
Main articles: Somali aristocratic and court titles, Ifat Sultanate, Walashma dynasty, Sultanate of Mogadishu, Adal Sultanate, Ajuuraan state, and Warsangali Sultanate
Ruins of the Adal Sultanate in Zeila.
Islam was introduced to the area early on from the Arabian peninsula, shortly after the hijra. In the late 800s, Al-Yaqubi wrote that Muslims were living along the northern Somali seaboard. He also mentioned that the Adal kingdom had its capital in the city, SONY PCG-7134M battery suggesting that the Adal Sultanate with Zeila as its headquarters dates back to at least the 9th or 10th centuries. According to I.M. Lewis, the polity was governed by local dynasties consisting of Somalized Arabs or Arabized Somalis, who also ruled over the similarly-established Sultanate of Mogadishu in the Benadir region to the south. Adal's history from this founding period forth would be characterized by a succession of battles with neighbouring Abyssinia. SONY PCG-7131M battery At its height, the Adal kingdom controlled large parts of modern-day Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea.
13th century Fakr ad-Din mosque built by Fakr ad-Din, the first Sultan of the Mogadishu Sultanate.
In 1332, the Zeila-based King of Adal was slain in a military campaign aimed at halting the Abyssinian Emperor Amda Seyon's march toward the city. SONY PCG-7122M battery When the last Sultan of Ifat, Sa'ad ad-Din II, was also killed by Emperor Dawit I in Zeila in 1410, his children escaped to Yemen, before later returning in 1415. In the early 15th century, Adal's capital was moved further inland to the town of Dakkar, where Sabr ad-Din II, the eldest son of Sa'ad ad-Din II, established a new base after his return from Yemen. SONY PCG-7121M battery
Adal's headquarters were again relocated the following century, this time to Harar. From this new capital, Adal organised an effective army led by Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi (Ahmad "Gurey" or "Gran") that invaded the Abyssinian empire. This 16th century campaign is historically known as the Conquest of Abyssinia (Futuh al-Habash). SONY PCG-7113M battery During the war, Imam Ahmad pioneered the use of cannons supplied by the Ottoman Empire, which he imported through Zeila and deployed against Abyssinian forces and their Portuguese allies led by Cristóvão da Gama. Some scholars argue that this conflict proved, through their use on both sides, the value of firearms like the matchlock musket, cannons and the arquebus over traditional weapons. SONY PCG-7112M battery
Flag of the medieval Ajuuraan State.
During the Ajuuraan period, the sultanates and republics of Merca, Mogadishu, Barawa, Hobyo and their respective ports flourished and had a lucrative foreign commerce, with ships sailing to and coming from Arabia, India, Venetia, Persia, Egypt, Portugal and as far away as China. Vasco da Gama, who passed by Mogadishu in the 15th century, noted that it was a large city with houses several storeys high and large palaces in its centreSONY PCG-8Z3M battery, in addition to many mosques with cylindrical minarets.
In the 16th century, Duarte Barbosa noted that many ships from the Kingdom of Cambaya in modern-day India sailed to Mogadishu with cloth and spices, for which they in return received gold, wax and ivory. Barbosa also highlighted the abundance of meat, wheat, barley, horses, and fruit on the coastal markets, which generated enormous wealth for the merchants. SONY PCG-8Z2M battery Mogadishu, the center of a thriving textile industry known as toob benadir (specialized for the markets in Egypt, among other places), together with Merca and Barawa, also served as a transit stop for Swahili merchants from Mombasa and Malindi and for the gold trade from Kilwa. Jewish merchants from the Hormuz brought their Indian textile and fruit to the Somali coast in exchange for grain and wood.SONY PCG-8Z1M battery
Trading relations were established with Malacca in the 15th century, with cloth, ambergris and porcelain being the main commodities of the trade. Giraffes, zebras and incense were exported to the Ming Empire of China, which established Somali merchants as leaders in the commerce between the Asia and Africa and influenced the Chinese language with the Somali language in the processSONY PCG-8Y3M battery. Hindu merchants from Surat and Southeast African merchants from Pate, seeking to bypass both the Portuguese blockade and Omani interference, used the Somali ports of Merca and Barawa (which were out of the two powers' jurisdiction) to conduct their trade in safety and without interference.
Early Modern Era and the Scramble for Africa
Main articles: Geledi sultanate, Majeerteen Sultanate, Sultanate of Hobyo, and Dervish state
Mohamoud Ali Shire, the 26th Sultan of the Warsangali SultanateSONY PCG-8Y2M battery.
In the early modern period, successor states of the Adal and Ajuuraan empires began to flourish in Somalia. These included the Warsangali Sultanate, the Bari Dynasties, the Geledi sultanate (Gobroon dynasty), the Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia) and the Sultanate of Hobyo (Obbia). They continued the tradition of castle-building and seaborne trade established by previous Somali empiresSONY PCG-7Z1M battery.
Sultan Yusuf Mahamud Ibrahim, the third Sultan of the House of Gobroon, started the golden age of the Gobroon Dynasty. His army came out victorious during the Bardheere Jihad, which restored stability in the region and revitalized the East African ivory trade. He also received presents from and had cordial relations with the rulers of neighboring and distant kingdoms such as the Omani, Witu and Yemeni SultansSONY PCG-6W2M battery.
Sultan Ibrahim's son Ahmed Yusuf succeeded him and was one of the most important figures in 19th century East Africa, receiving tribute from Omani governors and creating alliances with important Muslim families on the East African coast. In northern Somalia, the Gerad Dynasty conducted trade with Yemen and Persia and competed with the merchants of the Bari DynastySONY PCG-5J5M battery. The Gerads and the Bari Sultans built impressive palaces and fortresses and had close relations with many different empires in the Near East.
One of the forts of the Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia) in Hafun.
In the late 19th century, after the Berlin Conference (1884), European powers began the Scramble for Africa, which inspired the Dervish leader Muhammad Abdullah Hassan to rally support from across the Horn of Africa and begin one of the longest colonial resistance wars ever. In several of his poems and speechesSONY PCG-5K2M battery , Hassan emphasized that the British "have destroyed our religion and made our children their children" and that the Christian Ethiopians in league with the British were bent upon plundering the political and religious freedom of the Somali nation. He soon emerged as "a champion of his country's political and religious freedom, defending it against all Christian invaders." SONY PCG-5K1M battery
Hassan issued a religious ordinance stipulating that any Somali national who did not accept the goal of unity of Somalia and would not fight under his leadership would be considered as kafir or gaal. He soon acquired weapons from the Ottoman Empire, Sudan, and other Islamic and/or Arabian countries, and appointed ministers and advisers to administer different areas or sectors of SomaliaSONY PCG-5J4M battery. In addition, he gave a clarion call for Somali unity and independence, in the process organizing his forces.
Hassan's Dervish movement had an essentially military character, and the Dervish state was fashioned on the model of a Salihiya brotherhood. It was characterized by a rigid hierarchy and centralization. Though Hassan threatened to drive the Christians into the sea, he executed the first attack by launching his first major military offensive with his 1500 Dervish equipped with 20 modern rifles on the British soldiers stationed in the regionSONY PCG-5J1M battery.
Taleex was the capital of the Dervish State.
He repulsed the British in four expeditions and had relations with the Central Powers of the Ottomans and the Germans. In 1920, the Dervish state collapsed after intensive aerial bombardments by Britain, and Dervish territories were subsequently turned into a protectorate.
The dawn of fascism in the early 1920s heralded a change of strategy for ItalySONY PCG-5G2M battery , as the north-eastern sultanates were soon to be forced within the boundaries of La Grande Somalia according to the plan of Fascist Italy. With the arrival of Governor Cesare Maria De Vecchi on 15 December 1923, things began to change for that part of Somaliland known as Italian Somaliland. Italy had access to these areas under the successive protection treaties, but not direct ruleSony VAIO PCG-8131M battery.
The Fascist government had direct rule only over the Benadir territory. Fascist Italy, under Benito Mussolini, attacked Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935, with an aim to colonize it. The invasion was condemned by the League of Nations, but little was done to stop it or to liberate occupied Ethiopia. On 3 August 1940, Italian troops, including Somali colonial units, crossed from Ethiopia to invade British Somaliland, and by 14 August, succeeded in taking Berbera from the BritishSony VAIO PCG-8152M battery.
A British force, including troops from several African countries, launched the campaign in January 1941 from Kenya to liberate British Somaliland and Italian-occupied Ethiopia and conquer Italian Somaliland. By February, most of Italian Somaliland was captured and in March, British Somaliland was retaken from the sea. The British Empire forces operating in Somaliland comprised three divisions of South African, West and East African troopsSony VAIO PCG-31311M battery. They were assisted by Somali forces led by Abdulahi Hassan with Somalis of the Isaaq, Dhulbahante, and Warsangali clans prominently participating. After World War II, the number of the Italian colonists started to decrease; their numbers had dwindled to less than 10,000 in 1960.
Main articles: Greater Somalia and Somali Youth League
An avenue in downtown Mogadishu in 1963.
Following World War II, Britain retained control of both British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland as protectoratesSony VAIO PCG-31111M battery. In 1945, during the Potsdam Conference, the United Nations granted Italy trusteeship of Italian Somaliland, but only under close supervision and on the condition—first proposed by the Somali Youth League (SYL) and other nascent Somalian political organizations, such as Hizbia Digil Mirifle Somali (HDMS) and the Somali National League (SNL)—that Somalia achieve independence within ten years. British Somaliland remained a protectorate of Britain until 1960. Sony VAIO PCG-8112M battery
To the extent that Italy held the territory by UN mandate, the trusteeship provisions gave the Somalis the opportunity to gain experience in political education and self-government. These were advantages that British Somaliland, which was to be incorporated into the new Somali state, did not have. Although in the 1950s British colonial officials attemptedSony VAIO PCG-7186M battery, through various administrative development efforts, to make up for past neglect, the protectorate stagnated. The disparity between the two territories in economic development and political experience would cause serious difficulties when it came time to integrate the two parts. Meanwhile, in 1948, under pressure from their World War II allies and to the dismay of the Somalis, the British "returned" the HaudSony VAIO PCG-7171M battery (an important Somali grazing area that was presumably 'protected' by British treaties with the Somalis in 1884 and 1886) and the Ogaden to Ethiopia, based on a treaty they signed in 1897 in which the British ceded Somali territory to the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik in exchange for his help against plundering by Somali clans. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M battery
Aden Abdullah Osman Daar, the first President of Somalia.
Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, Somalia's first Prime Minister and second President.
Britain included the proviso that the Somali nomads would retain their autonomy, but Ethiopia immediately claimed sovereignty over them. This prompted an unsuccessful bid by Britain in 1956 to buy back the Somali lands it had turned over. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M battery Britain also granted administration of the almost exclusively Somali-inhabited Northern Frontier District (NFD) to Kenyan nationalists despite an informal plebiscite demonstrating the overwhelming desire of the region's population to join the newly formed Somali Republic.
A referendum was held in neighboring Djibouti (then known as French Somaliland) in 1958Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M battery, on the eve of Somalia's independence in 1960, to decide whether or not to join the Somali Republic or to remain with France. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France, largely due to a combined yes vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans. There was also widespread vote rigging, with the French expelling thousands of Somalis before the referendum reached the polls. Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M battery The majority of those who voted no were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia, as had been proposed by Mahmoud Harbi, Vice President of the Government Council. Harbi was killed in a plane crash two years later. Djibouti finally gained its independence from France in 1977, and Hassan Gouled Aptidon, a Somali who had campaigned for a yes vote in the referendum of 1958, eventually wound up as Djibouti's first president (1977–1991) Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M battery.
British Somaliland became independent on 26 June 1960 as the State of Somaliland, and the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) followed suit five days later. On July 1, 1960, the two territories united to form the Somali Republic, albeit within boundaries drawn up by Italy and Britain. A government was formed by Abdullahi Issa and other members of the trusteeship and protectorate governmentsSony VAIO PCG-8161M battery, with Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf as President of the Somali National Assembly, Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as President of the Somali Republic and Abdirashid Ali Shermarke as Prime Minister (later to become President from 1967–1969). On 20 July 1961 and through a popular referendum, the people of Somalia ratified a new constitution, which was first drafted in 1960. Sony VAIO PCG-8141M battery In 1967, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal became Prime Minister, a position to which he was appointed by Shermarke. Egal would later become the President of the autonomous Somaliland region in northwestern Somalia.
On 15 October 1969, while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod, Somalia's then President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was shot dead by one of his own bodyguards. His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d'état on 21 October 1969 Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M battery (the day after his funeral), in which the Somali Army seized power without encountering armed opposition — essentially a bloodless takeover. The putsch was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army.
Main article: Somali Democratic Republic
Lieutenant Colonel Salaad Gabeyre Kediye, the "Father of the Revolution" that succeeded Somalia's civilian administrationSony VAIO PCG-3H1M battery.
Alongside Barre, the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) that assumed power after President Sharmarke's assassination was led by Lieutenant Colonel Salaad Gabeyre Kediye and Chief of Police Jama Korshel. Kediye officially held the title of "Father of the Revolution," and Barre shortly afterwards became the head of the SRC. The SRC subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic, dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution. Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M battery
The revolutionary army established large-scale public works programs and successfully implemented an urban and rural literacy campaign, which helped dramatically increase the literacy rate. In addition to a nationalization program of industry and land, the new regime's foreign policy placed an emphasis on Somalia's traditional and religious links with the Arab world
Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M battery, eventually joining the Arab League (AL) in 1974. That same year, Barre also served as chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the African Union (AU).
In July 1976, Barre's SRC disbanded itself and established in its place the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP), a one-party government based on scientific socialism and Islamic tenets. The SRSP was an attempt to reconcile the official state ideology with the official state religion by adapting Marxist precepts to local circumstancesSony VAIO PCG-9Z2L battery. Emphasis was placed on the Muslim principles of social progress, equality and justice, which the government argued formed the core of scientific socialism and its own accent on self-sufficiency, public participation and popular control, as well as direct ownership of the means of production. While the SRSP encouraged private investment on a limited scale, the administration's overall direction was essentially communist. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1L battery
In July 1977, the Ogaden War broke out after Barre's government sought to incorporate the predominantly Somali-inhabited Ogaden region into a Pan-Somali Greater Somalia. In the first week of the conflict, Somali armed forces took southern and central Ogaden and for most of the war, the Somali army scored continuous victories on the Ethiopian army and followed them as far as SidamoSony VAIO PCG-9131L battery. By September 1977, Somalia controlled 90 percent of the Ogaden and captured strategic cities such as Jijiga and put heavy pressure on Dire Dawa, threatening the train route from the latter city to Djibouti. After the siege of Harar, a massive unprecedented Soviet intervention consisting of 20,000 Cuban forces and several thousand Soviet experts came to the aid of Ethiopia's communist Derg regimeSony VAIO PCG-8161L battery. By 1978, the Somali troops were ultimately pushed out of the Ogaden. This shift in support by the Soviet Union motivated the Barre government to seek allies elsewhere. It eventually settled on the Soviets' Cold War arch-rival, the United States, which had been courting the Somali government for some time. All in all, Somalia's initial friendship with the Soviet Union and later partnership with the United States enabled it to build the largest army in Africa. Sony VAIO PCG-8152L battery
Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, Chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Council.
A new constitution was promulgated in 1979 under which elections for a People's Assembly were held. However, Barre's Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party politburo continued to rule. In October 1980, the SRSP was disbanded, and the Supreme Revolutionary Council was re-established in its place. Sony VAIO PCG-8141L battery By that time, the moral authority of Barre's government had collapsed. Many Somalis had become disillusioned with life under military dictatorship. The regime was weakened further in the 1980s as the Cold War drew to a close and Somalia's strategic importance was diminished. The government became increasingly totalitarian, and resistance movements, encouraged by EthiopiaSony VAIO PCG-8131L battery, sprang up across the country, eventually leading to the Somali Civil War. Among the militia groups were the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), United Somali Congress (USC), Somali National Movement (SNM) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), together with the non-violent political oppositions of the Somali Democratic Movement (SDM), the Somali Democratic Alliance (SDA) and the Somali Manifesto Group (SMG) Sony VAIO PCG-81312L battery.
During 1990, in the capital city of Mogadishu, the residents were prohibited from gathering publicly in groups greater than three or four. Fuel shortages caused long lines of cars at petrol stations. Inflation had driven the price of pasta, (ordinary dry Italian noodles, a staple at that time), to five U.S. dollars per kilogram. The price of khat, imported daily from Kenya, was also five U.S. dollars per standard bunchSony VAIO PCG-81214L battery. Paper currency notes were of such low value that several bundles were needed to pay for simple restaurant meals.
A thriving black market existed in the centre of the city as banks experienced shortages of local currency for exchange. At night, the city of Mogadishu lay in darkness. Close monitoring of all visiting foreigners was in effect. Harsh exchange control regulations were introduced to prevent export of foreign currency. Although no travel restrictions were placed on foreignersSony VAIO PCG-81115L battery, photographing many locations was banned. During the day in Mogadishu, the appearance of any government military force was extremely rare. Alleged late-night operations by government authorities, however, included "disappearances" of individuals from their homes.
Somali Civil War
Main article: Somali Civil War
1991 was a time of great change for Somalia. The Barre administration was ousted that year by a coalition of clan-based opposition groupsSony VAIO PCG-81114L battery, backed by Ethiopia's then-ruling Derg regime and Libya. Following a meeting of the Somali National Movement and northern clans' elders, the northern former British portion of the country declared its independence as Somaliland in May 1991. Although de facto independent and relatively stable compared to the tumultuous south, it has not been recognized by any foreign governmentSony VAIO PCG-81113L battery.
Prior to the civil war, Mogadishu was known as the "White pearl of the Indian Ocean".
In January 1991, President Ali Mahdi Muhammad was selected by the Somali Manifesto Group as an interim state president until a conference between all stakeholders to be held in Djibouti the following month to select a national leader. However, United Somali Congress military leader General Mohamed Farrah AididSony VAIO PCG-7142L battery, the Somali National Movement leader Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur and the Somali Patriotic Movement leader Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess refused to recognize Mahdi as president.
This caused a split between the SNM, USC and SPM and the armed groups Manifesto, Somali Democratic Movement (SDM) and Somali National Alliance (SNA) and within the USC forces. This led to efforts to remove Barre who still claimed to be the legitimate president of SomaliaSony VAIO PCG-7141L battery. He and his armed supporters remained in the south of the country until mid 1992, causing further escalation in violence, especially in the Gedo, Bay, Bakool, Lower Shabelle, Lower Juba, and Middle Juba regions. The armed conflict within the USC devastated the Mogadishu area.
The civil war disrupted agriculture and food distribution in southern Somalia. The basis of most of the conflicts was clan allegiances and competition for resources between the warring clansSony VAIO PCG-71111L battery. James Bishop, the United States's last ambassador to Somalia, explained that there is "competition for water, pasturage, and... cattle. It is a competition that used to be fought out with arrows and sabers... Now it is fought out with AK-47s." The resulting famine (about 300,000 dead) caused the United Nations Security Council in 1992 to authorise the limited peacekeeping operation United Nations Operation in Somalia I Sony VAIO PCG-61411L battery (UNOSOM I). UNOSOM's use of force was limited to self-defense and, although originally welcomed by both sides, it was soon disregarded by the warring factions.
In reaction to the continued violence and the humanitarian disaster, the United States organized a military coalition with the purpose of creating a secure environment in southern Somalia for the conduct of humanitarian operationsSony VAIO PCG-61112L battery. This coalition, (Unified Task Force or UNITAF) entered Somalia in December 1992 on Operation Restore Hope and was successful in restoring order and alleviating the famine. In May 1993, most of the United States troops withdrew and UNITAF was replaced by the United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II).
Propaganda leaflet depicting a white dove of peace being crushed by a fist labeled "USC/SNA" ("United Somali Congress/Somali National Alliance")Sony VAIO PCG-61111L battery.
However, Mohamed Farrah Aidid saw UNOSOM II as a threat to his power and in June 1993 his militia attacked Pakistan Army troops, attached to UNOSOM II, (see Somalia (March 1992 to February 1996)) in Mogadishu inflicting over 80 casualties. Fighting escalated until 19 American troops and more than 1,000 civilians and militia were killed in a raid in Mogadishu during October 1993Sony VAIO PCG-5T4L battery. The UN withdrew Operation United Shield in 3 March 1995, having suffered significant casualties, and with the rule of government still not restored. In August 1996, Aidid was killed in Mogadishu.
Following the outbreak of the civil war, many of Somalia's residents left the country in search of asylum. At the end of 2009, about 678,000 were under the responsibility of the UNHCR, constituting the third largest refugee group after war-afflicted Iraq and AfghanistanSony VAIO PCG-5T3L battery, respectively. Due to renewed fighting in the southern half of the country, an estimated 132,000 people left in 2009, and another 300,000 were displaced internally. Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali and Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, UN special envoy to Somalia have referred to the killing of civilians in the Somalian Civil War as a "genocide"Sony VAIO PCG-5T2L battery.
In mid-2011, two consecutive missed rainy seasons precipitated the worst drought in East Africa seen in 60 years. Belated and sub-average harvests, high food, water and fuel prices, and depleted grazing and farm lands caused by an estimated 25 percent drop in rainfall led to a large movement of people from the conflict-stricken parts of southern Somalia to relief centers in neighboring countriesSony VAIO PCG-5S3L battery. In July 2011, the United Nations officially declared a famine in several regions of southern Somalia, a situation reportedly exacerbated by a temporary ban on relief supplies imposed by Islamist militants. In response, the Transitional Federal Government set up a national committee consisting of several federal-level ministers tasked with assessing and addressing the needs of the drought-impacted segments of the population. According to the Lutheran World FederationSony VAIO PCG-5S2L battery, military activities in the country's southern conflict zones had by early December 2011 greatly reduced the movement of migrants. In February 2012, the UN announced that the food crisis in southern Somalia was over due to a scaling up of relief efforts and a bumper harvest, but warned that general conditions were still fragile. Aid agencies have now shifted their emphasis to recovery efforts, including digging irrigation canals and distributing plant seeds. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1L batteryLong-term strategies by the national government in conjunction with development agencies are believed to offer the most sustainable results.
A reconstituted Somali National Army (SNA) and Somali Police Force (SPF) have worked toward expanding their influence.
A consequence of the collapse of governmental authority that accompanied the civil war has been the emergence of a significant problem with piracy in the waters off of the coast of SomaliaSony VAIO PCG-5R2L battery. Piracy arose as a response by local fishermen from littoral towns such as Eyl, Kismayo and Harardhere to illegal fishing by foreign trawlers. An upsurge in piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean has also been attributed to the effects of the 26 December 2004 tsunami that devastated local fishing fleets and washed ashore containers filled with toxic waste that had been dumped by European fishing vesselsSony VAIO PCG-5R1L battery. In August 2008, a multinational coalition took on the task of combating the piracy by establishing a Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) within the Gulf of Aden. Additionally, the regional Puntland government in northeastern Somalia committed itself to eradicating piracy and has so far made progress in its campaign, having apprehended numerous pirates in 2010, including a prominent leader. Sony VAIO PCG-5P4L battery The autonomous region's security forces also reportedly managed to force out the pirate gangs from their traditional safe havens such as Eyl and Gar'ad, with the pirates now primarily operating from Hobyo, El Danaan and Harardhere in the neighboring Galmudug region. By the first half of 2010, these increased policing efforts by Puntland government authorities on land along with international naval vessels at sea reportedly contributed to a drop in pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden from 86 a year prior to 33Sony VAIO PCG-5P2L battery, forcing pirates to shift attention to other areas such as the Somali Basin and the wider Indian Ocean.
In October 2011, a coordinated operation between the Somali military and the Kenyan military began against the Al-Shabaab group of insurgents in southern Somalia. The mission was officially led by the Somali army, with the Kenyan forces providing a support role. In early June 2012, Kenyan forces were formally integrated into AMISOM. By September 2012Sony VAIO PCG-5N4L battery, the Somali National Army and allied AU and Raskamboni forces had managed to capture Al-Shabaab's last major stronghold, the southern port of Kismayo. Currently, three European Union operations are engaging with Somalia: EU NAVFOR Atalanta off the Horn of Africa, EUTM Somalia training troops in Uganda and EUCAP Nestor (launched on 16 July 2012).
Main article: Politics of SomaliaSony VAIO PCG-5N2L battery
Political map of Somalia (as of 25 October 2012).
Transitional Federal Institutions
Main articles: Transitional Federal Institutions, Transitional Federal Government, and Transitional Federal Parliament
The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was the internationally recognised government of Somalia until 20 August 2012, when its tenure officially ended. It was established as one of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) of government as defined in the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) adopted in November 2004 by the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) Sony VAIO PCG-51513L battery.
The Transitional Federal Government officially comprised the executive branch of government, with the TFP serving as the legislative branch. The government was headed by the President of Somalia, to whom the cabinet reported through the Prime Minister. However, it was also used as a general term to refer to all three branches collectivelySony VAIO PCG-51511L battery.
Islamic Courts Union and Ethiopian intervention
See also: Battle of Mogadishu (2006), Rise of the Islamic Courts Union (2006), and War in Somalia (2006–2009)
Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, one of the founders of the Transitional Federal Government.
In 2006, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an Islamist organization, assumed control of much of the southern part of the country and promptly imposed Shari'a law. The Transitional Federal Government sought to reestablish its authority, and, with the assistance of Ethiopian troops, African Union peacekeepers and air support by the United States, managed to drive out the rival ICU and solidify its rule. Sony VAIO PCG-51412L battery
On 8 January 2007, as the Battle of Ras Kamboni raged, TFG President and founder Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, a former colonel in the Somali Army and decorated war hero, entered Mogadishu for the first time since being elected to office. The government then relocated to Villa Somalia in the capital from its interim location in Baidoa. This marked the first time since the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 that the federal government controlled most of the country. Sony VAIO PCG-51411L battery
Following this defeat, the Islamic Courts Union splintered into several different factions. Some of the more radical elements, including Al-Shabaab, regrouped to continue their insurgency against the TFG and oppose the Ethiopian military's presence in Somalia. Throughout 2007 and 2008, Al-Shabaab scored military victoriesSony VAIO PCG-51312L battery, seizing control of key towns and ports in both central and southern Somalia. At the end of 2008, the group had captured Baidoa but not Mogadishu. By January 2009, Al-Shabaab and other militias had managed to force the Ethiopian troops to retreat, leaving behind an under-equipped African Union peacekeeping force to assist the Transitional Federal Government's troops. Sony VAIO PCG-51311L battery
Due to a lack of funding and human resources, an arms embargo that made it difficult to re-establish a national security force, and general indifference on the part of the international community, President Yusuf found himself obliged to deploy thousands of troops from Puntland to Mogadishu to sustain the battle against insurgent elements in the southern part of the countrySony VAIO PCG-51211L battery. Financial support for this effort was provided by the autonomous region's government. This left little revenue for Puntland's own security forces and civil service employees, leaving the territory vulnerable to piracy and terrorist attacks.
On 29 December 2008, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed announced before a united parliament in Baidoa his resignation as President of Somalia. In his speech, which was broadcast on national radio, Yusuf expressed regret at failing to end the country's seventeen year conflict as his government had mandated to do. Sony VAIO PCG-41112L battery He also blamed the international community for its failure to support the government, and said that the speaker of parliament would succeed him in office per the Charter of the Transitional Federal Government.
See also: Al-Shabaab, Hizbul Islam, Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a, Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, War in Somalia (2009–), and 2009 timeline of the War in Somalia
The battle flag of Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group waging war against the federal governmentSony VAIO PCG-3A4L battery.
Between 31 May and 9 June 2008, representatives of Somalia's federal government and the moderate Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) group of Islamist rebels participated in peace talks in Djibouti brokered by the former United Nations Special Envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah. The conference ended with a signed agreement calling for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops in exchange for the cessation of armed confrontationSony VAIO PCG-3A3L battery. Parliament was subsequently expanded to 550 seats to accommodate ARS members, which then elected Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the former ARS chairman, to office. President Sharif shortly afterwards appointed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the son of slain former President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, as the nation's new Prime Minister. Sony VAIO PCG-3A2L battery
Embassy of Somalia in Paris, France.
With the help of a small team of African Union troops, the coalition government also began a counteroffensive in February 2009 to assume full control of the southern half of the country. To solidify its rule, the TFG formed an alliance with the Islamic Courts Union, other members of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, and Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a, a moderate Sufi militia. Sony VAIO PCG-3A1L battery Furthermore, Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, the two main Islamist groups in opposition, began to fight amongst themselves in mid-2009.
As a truce, in March 2009, Somalia's coalition government announced that it would re-implement Shari'a as the nation's official judicial system. However, conflict continued in the southern and central parts of the country. Within months, the coalition government had gone from holding about 70% of south-central Somalia's conflict zonesSony VAIO PCG-394L battery, territory which it had inherited from the previous Yusuf administration, to losing control of over 80% of the disputed territory to the Islamist insurgents.
During the coalition government's brief tenure, Somalia topped the Fund For Peace's Failed States Index for three consecutive years. In 2009, Transparency International ranked the nation in last place on its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), a metric that purports to show the prevalence of corruption in a country's public sectorSony VAIO PCG-393L battery. In mid-2010, the Institute for Economics and Peace also ranked Somalia in the next-to-last position, in between war-afflicted Iraq and Afghanistan, on its Global Peace Index. During the same period, the UN International Monitoring Group (IMG) published a report claiming that the Somali government's security forces were ineffective and corrupt, and that up to half of the food aid that was destined for the conflict-stricken parts of the country was being misdirectedSony VAIO PCG-391L battery. It also accused Somali officials of collaborating with pirates, UN contractors of helping insurgents, and the Eritrean government of still supporting rebel groups in southern Somalia despite earlier sanctions imposed on the former. Somalia's government and local businessmen, as well as United Nations officials and the Eritrean government all emphatically rejected the report's claimsSony VAIO PCG-384L battery.
Flag of Somaliland, an unrecognised self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia.
In 2010, reports surfaced linking the secessionist government of the northwestern Somaliland region with the Islamist extremists that are currently waging war against the Transitional Federal Government and its African Union alliesSony VAIO PCG-383L battery. Garowe Online reported in October that Mohamed Said Atom, an arms-smuggler believed to be allied with Al-Shabaab and who is on U.S. and U.N. security watch-lists, was hiding out in Somaliland after being pursued by the neighboring Puntland region's authorities for his role in targeted assassination attempts against Puntland officials as well as bomb plotsSony VAIO PCG-382L battery. Several of Atom's followers were also reportedly receiving medical attention in the region, after having been wounded in a counter-terrorism raid in the Galgala hills by Puntland security personnel.
According to Puntland government documents, the Somaliland region's Riyale government in 2006 both financed and offered military assistance to Atom's men as part of a campaign to destabilize the autonomous territory via proxy agents and Sony VAIO PCG-381L batteryto distract attention away from the Somaliland government's own attempts at occupying the disputed Sool province. The Puntland Intelligence Agency (PIA), a covert organization supported and trained by U.S. counter-terrorism agencies based in Djibouti, also indicated that over 70 salaried Somaliland soldiers had fought alongside Atom's militiamen during the Galgala operation, including one known Somaliland intelligence official who died in the ensuing battle. Sony VAIO PCG-7185L batteryThe following month, the Puntland government issued a press release accusing the incumbent Somaliland administration of providing a safe haven for Atom and of attempting to revive remnants of his militia. Several top commanders in the Al-Shabaab group, including former leader Ahmed Abdi Godane ("Moktar Ali Zubeyr"), are also reported to hail from the Somaliland region, with Godane quoted as saying that Al Shabaab insurgents "should not interfere in Somaliland until Puntland is destabilized firstSony VAIO PCG-7184L battery."
Somalia's coalition government enacted numerous political reforms since taking office in 2009, with an emphasis on transparency and accountability. One of its first changes involved ensuring that all government institutions, which had previously been spread out in various areas throughout the country, were now based in Mogadishu, the nation's capitalSony VAIO PCG-7183L battery. The Central Bank of Somalia was also re-established, and a national plan as well as an effective anti-corruption commission were put into place. In July 2009, Somalia's Transitional Federal Government hired global professional services firm Pricewaterhousecoopers to monitor development funding and serving as a trustee of an account in Mogadishu for the security, healthcare and education sectors. Sony VAIO PCG-7182L batteryThis was followed in November of that year with a $2 million agreement between the government and the African Development Bank (AfDB), which saw Somalia re-engage with the AfDB after nearly two decades of interruption. The grant is aimed at providing financial and technical assistance; specifically, to develop a sound legal framework for monetary and fiscal institutions and human and institutional capacity building, as well as to establish public fin
Similarly, the autonomous Puntland region's new administration, which took office in early 2009, has also implemented numerous reforms such as the expansion and improvement of its security and judicial sectors. According to Garowe Online, to bolster the region's justice system, numerous new prosecutors, judges and other court personnel as well as additional prison guards were hired and trainedSony VAIO PCG-7174L battery. In July 2010, the Puntland Council of Ministers unanimously approved a new anti-terrorism law to more efficiently handle terror suspects and their accomplices; a special court is also expected to be established within the region's existing criminal courts system to facilitate the task. Fiscally, a transparent, budget-based public finance system was established, which has reportedly helped increase public confidence in governmentSony VAIO PCG-7173L battery. In addition, a new regional constitution was drafted and later passed on 15 June 2009, which is believed to represent a significant step toward the eventual introduction of a multi-party political system to the region for the first time; such a system already exists in the adjacent Somaliland region. More modest reforms were also put into motion in the social sector, particularly in the education and healthcare fieldsSony VAIO PCG-7172L battery. The regional government has hired more healthcare workers and teachers, with major plans underway for school and hospital renovations. One of the most significant new reforms enacted by the incumbent Puntland administration is the launching in May 2009 of the Puntland Agency for Social Welfare (PASWE), the first organization of its kind in Somali history. The agency provides medical, educational and counseling support to vulnerable groups and individuals such as orphans, the disabled and the blindSony VAIO PCG-7171L battery. PASWE is overseen by a Board of Directors, which consists of religious scholars (ulema), businesspeople, intellectuals and traditional elders.
On 14 October 2010, diplomat Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo) was appointed the new Prime Minister of Somalia. The former Premier Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke resigned the month before following a protracted dispute with President Sharif over a proposed draft constitutionSony VAIO PCG-7162L battery.
Foreign Minister of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Omaar in a meeting with UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and other diplomats at the UN headquarters in New York.
Per the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic, Prime Minister Mohamed named a new Cabinet on 12 November 2010, which was lauded by the international community. As had been expectedSony VAIO PCG-7161L battery, the allotted ministerial positions were significantly reduced in numbers from 39 to 18. Only two Ministers from the previous Cabinet were reappointed: Hussein Abdi Halane, the former Minister of Finance (Finance and Treasury) and Mohamud Abdi Ibrahim (Commerce and Industry). Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a, a moderate Sufi group and an important military ally of the TFG, became Minister of the Interior and Labour ministries. The remaining ministerial positions were largely assigned to technocrats new to the Somali political arenaSony VAIO PCG-7154L battery.
Additional members of the Independent Constitutional Commission were also appointed to engage Somali constitutional lawyers, religious scholars and experts in Somali culture over the nation's upcoming new constitution, a key part of the government's Transitional Federal Tasks. In addition, high level federal delegations were dispatched to defuse clan-related tensions in several regionsSony VAIO PCG-7153L battery. According to the prime minister of Somalia, to improve transparency, Cabinet ministers fully disclosed their assets and signed a code of ethics.
An Anti-Corruption Commission with the power to carry out formal investigations and to review government decisions and protocols was also established to more closely monitor all activities by public officials. Furthermore, unnecessary trips abroad by members of government were prohibitedSony VAIO PCG-7152L battery, and all travel by ministers required the Premier’s consent. A budget outlining 2011’s federal expenditures was also put before and approved by members of parliament, with the payment of civil service employees prioritized. In addition, a full audit of government property and vehicles is being put into place. On the war front, the new government and its AMISOM allies also managed to secure control of Mogadishu by August 2011. Sony VAIO PCG-7151L batteryAccording to the African Union and Prime Minister Mohamed, with increasing troop strength the pace of territorial gains is expected to greatly accelerate.
On 19 June 2011, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed resigned from his position as Prime Minister of Somalia. Part of the controversial Kampala Accord's conditions, the agreement saw the mandates of the President, the Parliament Speaker and Deputies extended until August 2012. Abdiweli Mohamed AliSony VAIO PCG-7148L battery, Mohamed's former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, was later named permanent Prime Minister.
Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari voting during the Federal Parliament's inaugural speakership elections.
As part of the official "Roadmap for the End of Transition", a political process which provides clear benchmarks leading toward the establishment of permanent democratic institutions in Somalia by late August 2012, Sony VAIO VGN-CS13T/W battery Somali government officials met in the northeastern town of Garowe in February 2012 to discuss post-transition arrangements. After extensive deliberations attended by regional actors and international observers, the conference ended in a signed agreement between TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Speaker of Parliament Sharif Adan Sharif Hassan, Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed FaroleSony VAIO VGN-CS13H/W battery, Galmudug President Mohamed Ahmed Alim and Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a representative Khalif Abdulkadir Noor stipulating that: a) a new 225 member bicameral parliament would be formed, consisting of an upper house seating 54 Senators as well as a lower house; b) 30% of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) is earmarked for women; c) the President is to be appointed via a constitutional electionSony VAIO VGN-CS13H/R battery; and d) the Prime Minister is selected by the President and he/she then names his/her Cabinet. On June 23, 2012, the Somali federal and regional leaders met again and approved a draft constitution after several days of deliberation. The National Constituent Assembly overwhelmingly passed the new constitution on August 1, with 96% of the 645 delegates present voting for it, 2% against it, and 2% abstaining. To come into effect, it must be ratified by the new parliament. Sony VAIO VGN-CS13H/Q battery
Concurrent with the end of the TFG's interim mandate on August 20, 2012, the Federal Parliament of Somalia was inaugurated, ushering in the Federal Government of Somalia, the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the civil war. On September 10, 2012, parliament also elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the new President of Somalia. Sony VAIO VGN-CS13H/P battery President Mohamud later appointed Abdi Farah Shirdon as the new Prime Minister on October 6, 2012. On November 4, 2012, Shirdon named a new Cabinet, which was later endorsed by the legislature on November 13, 2012.