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Country of Somalia Flag

Capital: Mogadishu

Population: 15,442,905

Brief History of Somalia:

Somalia is located on the horn of Africa. Influences from both African and Arabia are prevalent. There were several different Somali empires during the Middle Ages that had a large impact on trade in the area due to Somalia's important location between Africa and Arabia. These empires included the Sultanate of Adal, the Warsangali Sultanate, and the Gobroon Dynasty.

In the 1800s the British and the Italians arrived. They established British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. The Dervishes, under Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, fought off the British from the interior of Somalia for years until they were defeated in 1920. The area was mostly controlled by Italy until after World War I, when the British took over the entire area. In 1960 the independent nation of Somalia was formed.

In 1991 the Somali civil war broke out. Since that time the country has been in anarchy with no real central government. As a result, it is one of the world?s most violent and poorest countries.

Country of Somalia Map

The Geography of Somalia

Total Size: 637,657 square km

Size Comparison: slightly smaller than Texas

Geographical Coordinates: 10 00 N, 49 00 E

World Region or Continent: Africa

General Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north

Geographical Low Point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: Shimbiris 2,416 m

Climate: principally desert; northeast monsoon (December to February), moderate temperatures in north and very hot in south; southwest monsoon (May to October), torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons

Major cities: MOGADISHU (capital) 1.353 million (2009), Bosaso

The People of Somalia

Type of Government: no permanent national government; transitional, parliamentary federal government

Languages Spoken: Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English

Independence: 1 July 1960 (from a merger of British Somaliland, which became independent from the UK on 26 June 1960, and Italian Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-administered UN trusteeship on 1 July 1960, to form the Somali Republic)

National Holiday: Foundation of the Somali Republic, 1 July (1960); note - 26 June (1960) in Somaliland

Nationality: Somali(s)

Religions: Sunni Muslim

National Symbol: leopard

National Anthem or Song: Soomaaliyeey toosoo (Somalia Wake Up)

Economy of Somalia

Major Industries: a few light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, wireless communication

Agricultural Products: bananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans; cattle, sheep, goats; fish

Natural Resources: uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves

Major Exports: livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal

Major Imports: manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat

Currency: Somali shilling (SOS)

National GDP: $5,896,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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