Somalia Politics

Somalia Politics, Population and Geography

General information: The SIAD BARRE regime collapsed in January 1991, and riots and clashes between factions and anarchy tormented the country for 9 years. In May 1991, the northern clans proclaimed the independent Republic of Somaliland, which now includes the regions of Avdal, Vokuyi-Galbid, Togdir, Sanaag, and Sul. Although this republic is not recognized by other states, its position is quite stable, and the ruling clan enjoys the economic infrastructure left over from British, Russian and American military aid programs. The regions of Bari and Nugaal make up the neighboring self-declared Republic of Puntland, which is also moving towards the restoration of a legitimate representative government. Beginning in 1993, a two-year UN humanitarian aid program (mainly in the south) reduced famines, but when UN forces in 1995 left the country due to significant casualties among the military, order has still not been restored. An interim national government, in which Somali clans are widely represented, was established in October 2000 in the city of Arta (Djibouti). This government has a three-year mandate to establish a permanent government in Somalia. The interim government does not recognize the independence of Somaliland and Puntland, but is not yet able to unite them with the southern regions, the situation in which is still unstable; numerous gang leaders are still fighting for control of Mogadishu and other parts of the south.


Location: East Africa, on the coast of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia.
Geographical coordinates: 10° 00′ N. latitude, 49° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 637,657 km2; land surface area: 627,337 km2; water surface area: 10,320 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Texas.
Land borders: total length: 2,366 km; with neighboring states: with Djibouti 58 km, with Ethiopia 1,626 km, with Kenya 682 km.
Coastline: 3,025 km.
Maritime claims: territorial waters: 200 nautical miles.
Climate: mostly desert; from December to February, the northeast monsoon blows, the temperature is moderate in the north and very high in the south; from May to October, the southwest monsoons blow, the temperature is extremely high in the north and high in the south; humid, hot periods with irregular rainfall between monsoon seasons.
Terrain: mostly plateau, turning into hills in the north.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mt. Shimbiris 2,416 m.
Natural resources: uranium and mostly unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper and salt.
Land use: arable land: 2%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 69%; forests and plantations: 26%; others: 3% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 1800 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: periodic droughts; frequent summer dust storms in the eastern plains; floods during the rainy season.
Current environmental issues: hunger; use of contaminated water for drinking, endangering public health; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification.
International Agreements on Environmental Protection: Contributor: Endangered Species, Law of the Sea. signed but not ratified: Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban.
Geography note: strategically important location along the southern approaches to the Bab el-Mandeb and on the route through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.


Population: 7,488,773 note: this estimate is based on the official 1975 Somali government census; Population counts in Somalia are difficult due to large nomadic populations and displacement of refugees caused by famine and civil war (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 44.54% (male 1,670,320; female 1,665,329); 15 to 64 years old: 52.69% (male 1,993,750; female 1,952,437); over 65: 2.77% (male 91,511; female 115,426) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 3.48% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 47.23 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 18.35 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 5.96 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; up to 15 years: 1 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.02 male/female; over 65: 0.79 male/female; for the general population: 1.01 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 123.97 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 46.6 years; men: 44.99 years; women: 48.25 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 7.11 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Somali; adjective: Somali.
Ethnic groups: Somalis 85%, Bantu, Arabs 30,000.
Believers: Sunni Muslims.
Language(s): Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 24%; men: 36%; women: 14% (1990 est.).


Common long form: absent;
conventional short form: Somalia; former: Republic of Somalia, Democratic Republic of Somalia
State structure: no.
Capital: Mogadishu.
Administrative divisions: 18 regions (pre-bolka): Avdal, Bakul, Banaadir, Bari, Bey, Vo-kuyi-Galbid, Gapguduud, Gedo, Jubbada-Dheks, Jubbada-Khus, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Soup, Tog-dir, Hiiraan, Shabillaha-Dheks, Shabillaha-Khus.
Independence: July 1, 1960, when (there was a union of British Somalia, which gained independence on June 26, 1960 (until 1960 – a protectorate of Great Britain), and Italian Somalia, which gained independence on July 1, 1960 (until 1960 – guardianship of Italy under UN mandate), to the Republic of Somalia
National Day: Founding of the Republic of Somalia, July 1 (1960)
Constitution: adopted August 25, 1979, approved by the President September 23, 1979 note: Transitional National Government formed October 2000, has a three-year mandate to create a new constitution and hold elections
Legal system: N/ A
Suffrage: 18+, universal
head of state: ABDIKASSIM Salad Hassan (since August 26, 2000); note – Interim President ABDIKASIM was elected for a three-year term by the 245-member National Assembly acting as transitional government; the current political situation is still unstable, especially in the south, where there are clashes between clans and individual bandit gangs;
head of government: ALI Khalifa Galaydh, appointed by the President on 8 October 2000; See to know more about Somalia Political System.
government: appointed Prime Minister and sworn in on 20 October 2000; election results: ABDIQASIM Salad Hassan was elected president of the interim government at a Djiboutian-backed peace conference in Arta on 26 August 2000 by a broad representation of the Somali clans that constituted a transitional National Assembly.
Legislature: unicameral People’s Assembly (Golaha Shacbiga); note: not yet operational; The transitional National Assembly of 245 members began its meeting on August 13, 2000 in the city of Arta (Djibouti) and is now working in Mogadishu.
Judiciary: After the collapse of the national government, most regions returned to Islamic law (Sharia) with the possibility of appealing all judicial decisions.
Political parties and leaders: no.
Political Power Groups and Their Leaders: Numerous clans and factions of clans are currently vying for power.
Participation in international organizations: ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer).
Diplomatic representation in the US: Somalia does not have an embassy in the US (terminated on May 8, 1991).
US Diplomatic Mission: the US does not have an embassy in Somalia; US interests are represented by the US Embassy in Nairobi; Address: Moi Avenue/Haile Selassie Avenue; mailing address: R. O. Box 30137, Unit 64100, Nairobi; APO AE 09831; phone: [254] (2) 334141; fax: [254] (2) 340838.
Description of the flag: blue with a large white five-pointed star in the center; the flag of the United Nations served as a model (Italian Somalia was a territory under trusteeship under a UN mandate). Government – note: a transitional national government (with a president, prime minister and a 245-member National Assembly) was formed in October 2000, but other governments continue to exist controlling various cities and regions of the country, such as So-maliland, Puntland , as well as influential traditional clans and factions.

Somalia Politics