Somalia

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Introduction - Somalia:
CountrySomalia
BackgroundBritain 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:
LocationEastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia
Geographic coordinates10 00 N, 49 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 637,657 sq km
land: 627,337 sq km
water: 10,320 sq km
Area comparativeslightly smaller than Texas
Land boundariestotal: 2,340 km
border countries: Djibouti 58 km, Ethiopia 1,600 km, Kenya 682 km
Coastline3,025 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 200 nm
Climateprincipally 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
Terrainmostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north
Elevation extremeslowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Shimbiris 2,416 m
Natural resourcesuranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves
Land usearable land: 1.64%
permanent crops: 0.04%
other: 98.32% (2005)
Irrigated land2,000 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsrecurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during rainy season
Environment current issuesfamine; use of contaminated water contributes to human health problems; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
Geography notestrategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Canal
People - Somalia:
Population9,118,773
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 structure0-14 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 agetotal: 17.6 years
male: 17.5 years
female: 17.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate2.832% (2007 est.)
Birth rate44.6 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate16.28 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat 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 ratetotal: 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 birthtotal population: 48.84 years
male: 47.06 years
female: 50.69 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate6.68 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate1% (2001 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids43,000 (2001 est.)
Hiv aids deathsNA
Nationalitynoun: Somali(s)
adjective: Somali
Major infectious diseasesdegree 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 groupsSomali 85%, Bantu and other non-Somali 15% (including Arabs 30,000)
ReligionsSunni Muslim
LanguagesSomali (official), Arabic, Italian, English
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 37.8%
male: 49.7%
female: 25.8% (2001 est.)
Government - Somalia:
Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Somalia
local long form: Jamhuuriyada Demuqraadiga Soomaaliyeed
local short form: Soomaaliya
former: Somali Republic; Somali Democratic Republic
Government typeno permanent national government; transitional, parliamentary federal government
Capitalname: Mogadishu
geographic coordinates: 2 04 N, 45 22 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions18 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
Independence1 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 holidayFoundation of the Somali Republic, 1 July (1960); note - 26 June (1960) in Somaliland
Constitution25 August 1979, presidential approval 23 September 1979
note: the formation of transitional governing institutions, known as the Transitional Federal Government, is currently ongoing
Legal systemno national system; a mixture of English common law, Italian law, Islamic Sharia, and Somali customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief 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 branchunicameral 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 branchfollowing 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 leadersnone
Political pressure groups and leadersnumerous clan and sub-clan factions are currently vying for power; Supreme Council of Islamic Courts (SCIC)
International organization participationACP, 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 usSomalia 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 usthe 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 descriptionlight blue with a large white five-pointed star in the center; blue field influenced by the flag of the UN
Government notealthough 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 overviewSomalias 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 rate2.6% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $600 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 65%
industry: 10%
services: 25% (2000 est.)
Labor force3.7 million (few skilled laborers) (1975 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 71%
industry and services: 29% (1975)
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate consumer prices NA%; note - businesses print their own money, so inflation rates cannot be easily determined
Budgetrevenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
Agriculture productsbananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans; cattle, sheep, goats; fish
Industriesa few light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, wireless communication
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Electricity production269 million kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption250.2 million kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil consumption5,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2005)
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Exports$241 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports commoditieslivestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal
Exports partnersUAE 49.8%, Yemen 21.5%, Oman 6% (2006)
Imports$576 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports commoditiesmanufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat
Imports partnersDjibouti 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 ratesSomali 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 yearNA
Telephones main lines in use100,000 (2005)
Telephones mobile cellular500,000 (2005)
Telephone systemgeneral 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 stationsAM 0, FM 11 (also 1 station each in Puntland and Somaliland), shortwave 1 (in Mogadishu) (2001)
Television broadcast stations4 (2 in Mogadishu and 2 in Hargeisa) (2001)
Internet country code.so
Internet hosts3 (2006)
Internet users94,000 (2006)
Transportation - Somalia:
Airports65 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 7
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 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)
Roadwaystotal: 22,100 km
paved: 2,608 km
unpaved: 19,492 km (1999)
Merchant marinetotal: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 2,659 GRT/2,540 DWT
by type: cargo 1
foreign-owned: 1 (UAE 1) (2006)
Ports and terminalsBoosaaso, Berbera, Kismaayo, Merca, Mogadishu
Military - Somalia:
Military branchesno national-level armed forces (2007)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age (est.) (2001)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,787,727
females age 18-49: 1,714,792 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,022,360
females age 18-49: 1,038,697 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp0.9% (2005 est.)
Disputes internationalEthiopian 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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