Somalia

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Introduction - Somalia:

Country

Somalia

Background

Britain withdrew from British Somaliland in 1960 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. After the regimes overthrow early in 1991, Somalia descended into turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy. In May 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes the administrative regions of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool. Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence, aided by the overwhelming dominance of a ruling clan and economic infrastructure left behind by British, Russian, and American military assistance programs. The regions of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug comprise a neighboring self-declared autonomous state of Puntland, which has been self-governing since 1998 but does not aim at independence; it has also made strides toward reconstructing a legitimate, representative government but has suffered some civil strife. Puntland disputes its border with Somaliland as it also claims portions of eastern Sool and Sanaag. Beginning in 1993, a two-year UN humanitarian effort (primarily in the south) was able to alleviate famine conditions, but when the UN withdrew in 1995, having suffered significant casualties, order still had not been restored. The mandate of the Transitional National Government (TNG), created in August 2000 in Arta, Djibouti, expired in August 2003. A two-year peace process, led by the Government of Kenya under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), concluded in October 2004 with the election of Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed as President of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the formation of a transitional government, known as the Somalia Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs). The Somalia TFIs include a 275-member parliamentary body, known as the Transitional Federal Assembly (TFA), a transitional Prime Minister, Ali Mohamed GEDI, and a 90-member cabinet. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has been deeply divided since just after its creation and until late December 2006 controlled only the town of Baidoa. In June 2006, a loose coalition of clerics, business leaders, and Islamic court militias known as 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, but the joint forces continue to fight remnants of SCIC militia in the southwestern corner of Somalia near the Kenyan border. The TFG, backed by Ethiopian forces, in late December 2006 moved into Mogadishu, but it continues to struggle to exert control over the capital and to prevent the reemergence of warlord rule that typified Mogadishu before the rise of the SCIC.

Location - Somalia:

Location

Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia

Geographic coordinates

10 00 N, 49 00 E

Map references

Africa

Area

total: 637,657 sq km
land: 627,337 sq km
water: 10,320 sq km

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries

total: 2,340 km
border countries: Djibouti 58 km, Ethiopia 1,600 km, Kenya 682 km

Coastline

3,025 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 200 nm

Climate

principally desert; northeast monsoon (December to February), moderate temperatures in north and 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

Terrain

mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Shimbiris 2,416 m

Natural resources

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

Land use

arable land: 1.64%
permanent crops: 0.04%
other: 98.32% (2005)

Irrigated land

2,000 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during rainy season

Environment current issues

famine; use of contaminated water contributes to human health problems; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Environment international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

Geography note

strategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Canal

People - Somalia:

Population

9,118,773
note: this estimate was derived from an official census taken in 1975 by the Somali Government; population counting in Somalia is complicated by the large number of nomads and by refugee movements in response to famine and clan warfare (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 44.4% (male 2,031,682/female 2,019,629)
15-64 years: 53% (male 2,423,602/female 2,410,126)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 97,932/female 135,802) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 17.6 years
male: 17.5 years
female: 17.7 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

2.832% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

44.6 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

16.28 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.006 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.006 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.721 male(s)/female
total population: 0.997 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 113.08 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 122.29 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 103.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 48.84 years
male: 47.06 years
female: 50.69 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

6.68 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

1% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

43,000 (2001 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

NA

Nationality

noun: Somali(s)
adjective: Somali

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2007)

Ethnic groups

Somali 85%, Bantu and other non-Somali 15% (including Arabs 30,000)

Religions

Sunni Muslim

Languages

Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 37.8%
male: 49.7%
female: 25.8% (2001 est.)

Government - Somalia:

Country name

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Somalia
local long form: Jamhuuriyada Demuqraadiga Soomaaliyeed
local short form: Soomaaliya
former: Somali Republic; Somali Democratic Republic

Government type

no permanent national government; transitional, parliamentary federal government

Capital

name: Mogadishu
geographic coordinates: 2 04 N, 45 22 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

18 regions (plural - NA, singular - gobolka); Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiiraan, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe, Shabeellaha Hoose, Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed

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

Constitution

25 August 1979, presidential approval 23 September 1979
note: the formation of transitional governing institutions, known as the Transitional Federal Government, is currently ongoing

Legal system

no national system; a mixture of English common law, Italian law, Islamic Sharia, and Somali customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Transitional Federal President Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed (since 14 October 2004); note - a transitional governing entity with a five-year mandate, known as the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs), was established in October 2004; the TFI relocated to Somalia in June 2004, but its members remain divided over clan and regional interests and the government continues to struggle to establish effective governance in the country
head of government: Prime Minister Ali Mohamed GEDI (since 24 December 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister and approved by the Transitional Federal Assembly
election results: Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed, the former leader of the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia, was elected president by the Transitional Federal Assembly

Legislative branch

unicameral National Assembly
note: unicameral Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) (275 seats; 244 members appointed by the four major clans (61 for each clan), 31 seats allocated to smaller clans and subclans); note - the TFP was created in January 2004 to last four years

Judicial branch

following the breakdown of the central government, most regions have reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, either secular, traditional Somali customary law, or Sharia (Islamic) law with a provision for appeal of all sentences

Political parties and leaders

none

Political pressure groups and leaders

numerous clan and sub-clan factions are currently vying for power; Supreme Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC)

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, CAEU, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ITSO, ITU, LAS, NAM, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the us

Somalia does not have an embassy in the US (ceased operations on 8 May 1991); note - the TFG and other factions have representatives in Washington and at the United Nations

Diplomatic representation from the us

the US does not have an embassy in Somalia; US interests are represented by the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya at United Nations Avenue, Nairobi; mailing address: Unit 64100, Nairobi; APO AE 09831; telephone: [254] (20) 363-6000; FAX [254] (20) 363-6157

Flag description

light blue with a large white five-pointed star in the center; blue field influenced by the flag of the UN

Government note

although an interim government was created in 2004, other regional and local governing bodies continue to exist and control various cities and regions of the country, including the self-declared Republic of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia, the semi-autonomous State of Puntland in northeastern Somalia, and traditional clan and faction strongholds

Economy - Somalia:

Economy overview

Somalias economic fortunes are driven by its deep political divisions. The northwestern area has declared its independence as the Republic of Somaliland; the northeastern region of Puntland is a semi-autonomous state; and the remaining southern portion is riddled with the struggles of rival factions. Economic life continues, in part because much activity is local and relatively easily protected. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock normally accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings, but Saudi Arabias ban on Somali livestock, due to Rift Valley Fever concerns, has severely hampered the sector. Nomads and semi-nomads, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. Livestock, hides, fish, charcoal, and bananas are Somalias principal exports, while sugar, sorghum, corn, qat, and machined goods are the principal imports. Somalias small industrial sector, based on the processing of agricultural products, has largely been looted and sold as scrap metal. Despite the seeming anarchy, Somalias service sector has managed to survive and grow. Telecommunication firms provide wireless services in most major cities and offer the lowest international call rates on the continent. In the absence of a formal banking sector, money exchange services have sprouted throughout the country, handling between $500 million and $1 billion in remittances annually. Mogadishus main market offers a variety of goods from food to the newest electronic gadgets. The Somali Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC) opened Mogadishus main port and airport - closed for 15 years - as well as most of the ports and airfields in southern Somalia. Hotels continue to operate, and militias provide security. The ongoing civil disturbances and clan rivalries, however, have interfered with any broad-based economic development and international aid arrangements. Somalias arrears to the IMF continued to grow in 2006. Statistics on Somalias GDP, growth, per capita income, and inflation should be viewed skeptically. In late December 2004, a major tsunami caused an estimated 150 deaths and resulted in destruction of property in coastal areas.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$5.259 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$2.483 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

2.6% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$600 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 65%
industry: 10%
services: 25% (2000 est.)

Labor force

3.7 million (few skilled laborers) (1975 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 71%
industry and services: 29% (1975)

Unemployment rate

NA%

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

NA%; note - businesses print their own money, so inflation rates cannot be easily determined

Budget

revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA

Agriculture products

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

Industries

a few light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, wireless communication

Industrial production growth rate

NA%

Electricity production

269 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

250.2 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

5,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Exports

$241 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Exports commodities

livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal

Exports partners

UAE 49.8%, Yemen 21.5%, Oman 6% (2006)

Imports

$576 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Imports commodities

manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat

Imports partners

Djibouti 31%, India 8.2%, Kenya 8.1%, Brazil 7.7%, Oman 5.5%, UAE 5.2%, Yemen 5% (2006)

Debt external

$3 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid recipient

$60 million (1999 est.)

Currency code

Somali shilling (SOS)

Exchange rates

Somali shillings per US dollar - 1,438.3 (2006) official rate; the unofficial black market rate was about 23,000 shillings per dollar as of February 2007
note: the Republic of Somaliland, a self-declared independent country not recognized by any foreign government, issues its own currency, the Somaliland shilling

Communications - Somalia:

Fiscal year

NA

Telephones main lines in use

100,000 (2005)

Telephones mobile cellular

500,000 (2005)

Telephone system

general assessment: the public telecommunications system was almost completely destroyed or dismantled by the civil war factions; private wireless companies offer service in most major cities and charge the lowest international rates on the continent
domestic: local cellular telephone systems have been established in Mogadishu and in several other population centers
international: country code - 252; international connections are available from Mogadishu by satellite (2001)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 0, FM 11 (also 1 station each in Puntland and Somaliland), shortwave 1 (in Mogadishu) (2001)

Television broadcast stations

4 (2 in Mogadishu and 2 in Hargeisa) (2001)

Internet country code

.so

Internet hosts

3 (2006)

Internet users

94,000 (2006)

Transportation - Somalia:

Airports

65 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 7
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 58
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 29
under 914 m: 6 (2006)

Roadways

total: 22,100 km
paved: 2,608 km
unpaved: 19,492 km (1999)

Merchant marine

total: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 2,659 GRT/2,540 DWT
by type: cargo 1
foreign-owned: 1 (UAE 1) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Boosaaso, Berbera, Kismaayo, Merca, Mogadishu

Military - Somalia:

Military branches

no national-level armed forces (2007)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age (est.) (2001)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 1,787,727
females age 18-49: 1,714,792 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 1,022,360
females age 18-49: 1,038,697 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

0.9% (2005 est.)

Disputes international

Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist Courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; Somaliland secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera to landlocked Ethiopia and have established commercial ties with other regional states; Puntland and Somaliland governments seek international support in their secessionist aspirations and overlapping border claims; the undemarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopias Ogaden and southern Somalias Oromo region; Kenya works hard to prevent the clan and militia fighting in Somalia from spreading south across the border, which has long been open to nomadic pastoralists

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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