The one minute summary on Somalia
This is it: one minute to the best info on Somalia. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Somalia, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.
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 characterized by the persecution, jailing, and torture of political opponents and dissidents.
After the regime’s collapse early in 1991,
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 and continues efforts to establish a constitutional democracy, including holding municipal, parliamentary, and presidential elections. The regions of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug comprise a neighboring semi-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. In 2000, the Somalia National Peace Conference (SNPC) held in Djibouti resulted in the formation of an interim government, known as the Transitional National Government (TNG). When the TNG failed to establish adequate security or governing institutions, the Government of Kenya, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), led a subsequent peace process that concluded in October 2004 with the election of Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed as President of a second interim government, known as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of the Somali Republic.
The TFG included a 275-member parliamentary body, known as the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP). President YUSUF resigned late in 2008 while United Nations-sponsored talks between the TFG and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) were underway in Djibouti. In January 2009, following the creation of a TFG-ARS unity government, Ethiopian military forces, which had entered Somalia in December 2006 to support the TFG in the face of advances by the opposition Islamic Courts Union (ICU), withdrew from the country. The TFP was doubled in size to 550 seats with the addition of 200 ARS and 75 civil society members of parliament.
The expanded parliament elected Sheikh SHARIF Sheikh Ahmed, the former ICU and ARS chairman as president in January 2009. The creation of the TFG was based on the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC), which outlined a five-year mandate leading to the establishment of a new Somali constitution and a transition to a representative government following national elections. In 2009, the TFP amended the TFC to extend TFG’s mandate until 2011 and in 2011 Somali principals agreed to institute political transition by August 2012. The transition process ended in September 2012 when clan elders replaced the TFP by appointing 275 members to a new parliament who subsequently elected a new president.
That was it. I promised one minute.
For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.
- Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in Somalia
- Does my current phone work in Somalia ? Tips to cell phone usage in Somalia
- Local food you should try in Somalia and No miss drinks in Somalia
Now, cheers to the most Somalia aware person at the cocktail party.
What are the key history moments for Somalia?
The history of the Somali people dates back many centuries. The first time the word Somali was mentioned in a history book was 3500 years ago, when the queen of Egypt Hatshepsut sent a fleet of 5 large ships and a crew of 250 men to Somalia which the Egyptians called The Land of Punt. Punt means the land of spices from the aromatic plants that grow there.
The Egyptians wanted to trade and they brought jewels and glass beads that they exchanged for gold, elephant tusks, myrrh, ostrich feathers, spices and different beads. Some of these items, especially the aromatic ones, were used by the Egyptians in their religious festivals and celebrations. Between the 7th and 9th century, immigrant Muslim Arabs and Persians established trading posts along the Somali coast. In the 14th century Ibn Battuta, the great Berber traveler, visited Mogadishu and wrote about the people, their food and clothing and how they ruled themselves. In his book he mentioned that the people in the city were very fat and everybody ate as much as they could.
The Mogadishans wore very nice white clothes and turbans and their sultan was very powerful. Somalia was an unknown country for European explorers until the Portuguese explorers reached the coastal cities of Somalia on their way to India. They called it Terra Incognita, which means the unknown land. These new discoveries encouraged many other European navigators to sail on the Somali coasts. The colonial era British, Italian and French imperialism all played an active role in the region in the 19th century.
In 1884 at the European powers’ conference in Berlin, Somalia was divided into five parts to dilute the homogeneity imposed by its language, religion, and race. The colonial powers divided Somalia into British Somaliland in the north, Italian Somalia in the south, the French Somali coast in Djibouti, Ogaden in the west and NFD. In the early 20th century a Somali resistance against these colonial powers started, led by Sayed Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, whom the British gave the nickname “Mad Mullah.” He began his opposition after returning from Mecca and established his own army, which he called the Dervishes.
He recruited from the local people and built his own headquarters in Taleex. In 1901 the fighting started between British and local Somali forces and it was the beginning of a long struggle that resulted in Somali independence. Post Independence Somalia has been intertwined in much violence since 1991. In 1969, General Siad Barre seized power over a coup d’etat. When the previous president was assassinated, a military government came into power. The military government established large-scale public works programs and successfully implemented an urban and rural literacy campaign, which helped dramatically increase the literacy rate.
In addition to a nationalization program regarding industry and land, the new regime’s foreign policy placed an emphasis on Somalia’s traditional and religious links with the Arab world, eventually joining the Arab League in 1974. All in all, Somalia’s initial friendship with the Soviet Union and later partnership with the United States enabled it to build the largest army in Africa. This, however, ended in an utter collapse in the 1980’s when the Somali people were disillusioned with the government because the government was weakened further in the 1980s as the Cold War drew to a close and Somalia’s strategic importance was diminished. As a result, General Barre was ousted by various rebels and the civil war started in 1991. Since then, life has been horrific for many Somalians.
Many have left the country to settle in safer parts of the world. The prospects of change seem remote as of now, though a new government under the President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has been making efforts to fight instability, and to end the war. From 1991 until now, Somalia has not seen anything but anarchy and corruption even under the TFG (transitional federal government) that successfully worked towards an elected president in September 2012.
The one minute summary for Somalia geography
Best places to see in Somalia
The Somali beach near Mogadishu is very beautiful. Families usually go on weekends. It is important to be aware that women must swim fully clothed, as Sharia law is strictly enforced, and does not permit women to show much of their bodies or to mingle with men. It is not clear as what the situation is like currently. In other circumstances, the beach would make for an ideal destination; however, the general threat of banditry, armed conflict and especially piracy along the coast make this, along with every other option in the country, risky.