Somalia History

Somalia borders the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, Kenya to the southwest and west, Ethiopia to the west, and Djibouti to the northwest .

According to neovideogames, Somalia has a coastline of over 3,300 km. The northern part of the country, the Somali Peninsula, is a steeply set floe that slopes south to the Indian Ocean, while it drops rapidly towards the Gulf of Aden with a slope that is stepped by staggered breaks. The highest point is reached at 2,416 m above sea level in the Shimbiris. The coast in this area is extremely steep and rocky; only to the west of Berbera is a coastal plain that widens to 100 km. Southern Somalia is a hull plain about 500 m above sea level, to which the wide embankment plain of the two only permanent rivers, Juba and Webe Shebele, is attached to the southwho come from the Ethiopian highlands. On the southern coast, upstream of which is a chain of coral reefs, a 10–50 km wide dune strip is formed, in which the Webe Shebele seeps away.


The coasts of the Somali Peninsula were probably known to the ancient Egyptians as Punt. The country has been under Islamic-Arab influence since the 9th century, and the Somals converted to Islam. 1698–1874 the north-east coast was owned by the Sultan of Muscat and Oman, then in Egyptian hands. The southeast coast belonged to the Sultanate of Zanzibar from 1866–92.

At the end of the 19th century, European colonial powers divided the peninsula. At the exit of the Red Sea, France occupied Djibouti in 1888 and formed the colony of French Somaliland in 1896 . The western and central north coasts were annexed by Great Britain in 1884/85 as the opposite coast to the Aden naval base and declared a protectorate of British Somaliland in 1887. Through treaties with several sultans, the Protectorate of Italian Somaliland was formed on the coast of the Indian Ocean in 1889, which was expanded to include the Zanzibari Mogadishu and other coastal places in 1892, and Kismayo to the south in 1924. Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia conquered the interior of the Somali Peninsula (Ogaden) in 1891. The borders of Ethiopia to the British colony were established in 1897 and to the Italian one in 1908 (the exact course of which is disputed). In 1936–41, Italian Somaliland formed the colony of Italian East Africa with Ethiopia and Eritrea, which had previously been conquered by Italy .

After it was conquered by British troops in World War II (1941), Italian Somaliland was under British military administration until 1950, when the United Nations reinstated Italy as an administrative power for ten years in a trust agreement. During this time Britain and Italy sought coordinated political progress towards self-government. The Somali Youth League (SYL) prevailed as the leading party. When the state gained independence on July 1, 1960, the British and Italian territories merged to form the Republic of Somalia; French Somaliland (1967–77 Afar and Issa Territory) became independent as Djibouti on June 27, 1977.

On June 20, 1961, Somalia received a constitution. Based on the SYL, Aden Abdullah Osman, in 1967 Abd ar-Rashid Shermarke took over the office of President; both came from the part of the country previously ruled by Italy. Allegations of election fraud and government corruption led to the assassination of Shermarkes on October 15, 1969 and to the coup of the army under General Mohammed Siad Barre on October 21, 1969. By repealing the constitution, he proclaimed the socialist-oriented “Somali Democratic Republic” as chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Council and head of state. Siad Barre walked on the basis of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP) founded on July 1, 1976 Somalia into a one-party state.

Since independence, Somalia’s foreign policy has been largely determined by the goal of uniting all Somalis in one state while claiming territorial rights to Kenya and Ethiopia. There were serious border conflicts with Ethiopia in 1964 and 1977-78. In 1977 Somali troops marched into the Somal-populated Ethiopian province of Ogaden to incorporate this area into Somalia. Somalia suffered a heavy defeat in 1978, particularly due to the strong military aid from the USSR and Cuba for Ethiopia. In view of the Soviet side in favor of Ethiopia, Somalia had already terminated the friendship and cooperation treaty with the USSR from 1974 in 1977 and expelled several thousand Soviet advisors. In 1981 the United States contractually allowed the port of Berbera to be used for military purposes. Somalia gained prestige in the Federal Republic of Germany after GSG 9, the anti-terrorist unit of the Federal Border Guard, allowed operations against terrorists at Mogadishu airport in October 1977. Against the background of continually flaring border conflicts with Ethiopia, Somalia received military aid from the USA. In April 1988 it made peace with Ethiopia;

In view of the flow of refugees caused by the war, the catastrophic drought and border conflicts, Somalia was drawn into a growing economic crisis. On the basis, in particular, of agreements (1985 and 1987) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), President Siad Barre (first elected by the population in 1986 as the only candidate) sought to counteract this development. In 1987 the government declared a “national emergency”. In close connection with this development, numerous clan and ethnic group-supported insurrection movements against the dictatorship of Siad Barre have sprung up since 1988/89, so inter alia. in the north Somali National Movement (SNM), in the south United Somali Congress (USC) and Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM). While the SNM prevailed against government troops in the north, the USC captured Mogadishu and the SPM occupied large parts of the south. Serious human rights violations occurred during the fighting. After fleeing Siad Barre in January 1991, fighting broke out between rival insurgency movements v. a. in the south. At a “reconciliation conference” on July 22, 1991, Ali became Mahdi Mohammed (USC) confirmed as new president. In the north, the SNM proclaimed the independent “Republic of Somaliland” on May 18, 1991, which was not recognized internationally. In September 1991 fighting broke out in Mogadishu between tribal groups within the USC, for example between the troops led by Ali Mahdi Mohammed and units of the Somali National Alliance (SNA), which was split off from the USC, under General M. F. H. Aidid.

Somalia History


Kismaayo, Kismaju, Kisimaju, Italian Chisimaio [k-], old trading town in southern Somalia, at the mouth of the Juba in the Indian Ocean, (2014) 358,000 residents.

University (founded 2005); Food industry, deep water port (banana export), airport.

Already an important trading city of the Swahili culture in the Middle Ages, Kismayo came under Portuguese influence after 1500, was conquered by Arabs from Oman at the end of the 17th century and was part of the Sultanate of Zanzibar after 1850. Great Britain, since 1890 protecting power over Zanzibar, ceded Kismayo with a strip of land on the Juba River to Italy in 1924, whereby the city came to Somalia in 1960.


Berbera, port city in northwest Somalia, on the Gulf of Aden, in the internationally unrecognized Republic of Somaliland, (2014) 374,000 residents (more than half move to the higher hinterland during the hot southwest monsoon from June to September).

Export of live cattle, hides, gum arabic; Fishing; Airport.


Marka, Merca, port town in Somalia southwest of Mogadishu on the Benadir Coast, (2014) 499,000 residents.

Seaside resort; Food industry, fishing, banana export.


Hargeysa, Hargeisa, city ​​in northwest Somalia, near the border with Ethiopia, (2014) 741,000 residents.

Capital of the internationally unrecognized Republic of Somaliland; University (founded in 2000) and other colleges; Trade center of an agricultural area (especially livestock farming), finance, gemstone cutting; Airport.

Hargeysa was the capital of British Somaliland from 1941-60.


Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, on the Indian Ocean, with (2014) 1.6 million residents.

Mogadishu is the country’s economic center and main port.