From wikipedia about Somalia
Somalia and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under communist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory. The internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government controls only a small part of the country. Somalia
has been characterized as a failed state and is one of the poorest and most violent states in the world. Bronwyn E. Bruton. Somalia: A New Approach. Volume 52 of Council Special Report. Council on Foreign Relations, 2010David Blair. ". " Forbes. 03. 04. 09
Somalia lies in the eastern-most part of Africa. It is bordered by Djibouti
to the northwest, Kenya
to the southwest, the Gulf of Aden with Yemen
to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Ethiopia
to the west. It has the longest coastline on the continent, International Traffic Network, The world trade in sharks: a compendium of Traffic s regional studies, (Traffic International: 1996), p. 25. and its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands. Hot conditions prevail year-round, along with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall.
In antiquity, Somalia
was an important centre for commerce with the rest of the ancient world, John Kenrick, Phoenicia, (B. Fellowes: 1855), p. 199. Jeanne Rose, John Hulburd, The aromatherapy book: applications & inhalations, (North Atlantic Books: 1992), p. 94. and according to most scholars, |accessdate=2011-08-07 it is among the most probable locations of the fabled ancient Land of Punt. Christine El Mahdy, Egypt
: 3000 Years of Civilization Brought to Life, (Raincoast Books: 2005), p. 297. Stefan Goodwin, Africa s legacies of urbanization: unfolding saga of a continent, (Lexington Books: 2006), p. 48. 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 Somaliland and Italian SomalilandMariam Arif Gassem, Somalia: clan vs. nation, (s. n. : 2002), p. 4 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, Kevin Shillington, Encyclopedia of African history , (CRC Press: 2005), p. 1406. 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 Somalia
would remain a protectorate, while southern Somalia
became a trusteeship. 1960 saw the union of the two regions into the independent Somali Republic under a civilian government. Greystone Press Staff, The Illustrated Library of The World and Its Peoples: Africa, North and East, (Greystone Press: 1967), p. 338. 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.
Since 1991, no central government has controlled the entirety of the country, despite several attempts to establish a unified central government.. The self-governing region of Puntland covers the northeast of the country. It declares itself to be autonomous, but not independent from Somalia
. The Islamist Al-Shabaab controls a large part of the south of the country. Without a central government, Somalia's inhabitants subsequently reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, either civil, Islamic, or customary law. The internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government controls only parts of the capital and some territory in the centre of the nation, but has reestablished national institutions such as the Military of Somalia
, and is working towards eventual national elections in 2012, when the interim government's mandate expires. Central Intelligence Agency, The CIA World Factbook 2010, Book 2010, (Skyhorse Publishing Inc. : 2009), p. 620. During the two decades of war and lack of government, Somalia
has maintained an informal economy, based mainly on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies, and telecommunications.