+252 is the dialing code for Somalia.
Somalia on the Horn of Africa is severely affected by conflicts. During the Cold War, the strategically located country was a chip in the game between the United States and the Soviet Union. Since 1991, the country has lacked a functioning central power. Clan struggles and conflicts between Islamist groups and weak governments have, along with recurring periods of drought, hit the civilian population hard. The Somali government is highly dependent on external financial and military support.
- Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Somalia, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Somalia lies at the far end of the wedge-shaped committee of eastern Africa called the Horn of Africa. The land, which on the surface is almost one and a half times the size of Sweden, has long coasts to the Indian Ocean to the east and to the Gulf of Aden. In the northwest Somalia borders Djibouti, in the west and south to Ethiopia and Kenya. Somaliland in the northwest declared itself as an independent state in 1991, but has not been officially recognized by any other country.
The landscape in Somalia is mostly made up of tree, grass or shrubbery, and in some cases semi-desert. The coastal plain along the Aden Bay in the north, Guban, is hot and dry. Inside the Guban, steep mountains rise, which in the south and southwest flatten out into the vast Haud plateau. This continues through Ogaden, the part of neighboring Ethiopia that cuts into Somalia. Twice Somalia has fought with Ethiopia for Ogaden (see Modern History).
There are good pastures on the Haud Plateau during the rainy season, and the livestock nomads drive their herds, often across the border with Ethiopia. However, during winter drought, it is difficult to find water on Haudplatån. Most of Somalia’s nomads spend that time in more coastal areas where there are permanent water sources.
To the south is a flat lowland. From the highlands of Ethiopia the rivers Juba and Shabelle flow into southern Somalia. Between them, in the rivers, lies Somalia’s most important cultivated fields. The coast towards the Indian Ocean is bordered by large fields of sand dunes. South of the capital Mogadishu, the dunes have begun to migrate towards the river country.
|Cultivated land||70.3 %|
|Land area||637657 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||1.83 ‰|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||39.6 %|
|Death rate||13.62 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||54.06 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||49.93 years|
|Birth rate||40.45 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||98.39 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||315 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per inhabitant||kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||million tons|
|Internet users||1.5 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||53 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||3 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||% of the workforce|
|GDP||400 per resident|
|Primary occupations||71 %|
|Secondary profession||14.5 %|
|Tertiary professions||14.5 %|
The equator cuts through the southernmost part of Somalia. Somalia has a tropical desert climate, which is most pronounced in the north, with hot days and cold nights. The temperature is lower along the sea and on the high plateaus. The country has two economical rainy seasons and two dry seasons.
The long rains, gu, fall from March to June; the short rains, dayr, from October to December. Between these rainy seasons lie two dry times: “the severe drought” jilaal, and hagaa. In some years, the rainy periods may be more or less absent. In the rivers, rainy weather can cause severe flooding.
Severe drought has led to several famine disasters (see Modern History). In the summer of 2019, at least two million people depended on emergency aid as the country suffered the worst drought in the area in 35 years.
FACTS – GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
637,660 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 2 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti
Capital with number of residents
Mogadishu just under 2.1 million (Sources: Allcitypopulation.com)
Other major cities
Hargeisa (in Somaliland), Merca, Bossasso (in Puntland), Berbera (in Somaliland), Kismayo
Surud Ad (2408 m asl)
Average Precipitation / month
Mogadishu 97 mm (June), 1 mm (Jan)
Average / day
Mogadishu 28 °C (March), 25 °C (August)
Islamists go to Puntland
At least about 30 Poundland soldiers are killed or injured as fights erupt after a car bomb attack in Puntland. According to reports, an increasing number of al-Shabaab rebels have sought refuge, as Amisom strengthened its grip on parts of southern Somalia.
Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan becomes Somalia’s first female foreign minister
Ten new ministers are appointed, which is fewer than the previous governments. Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan becomes the country’s first female foreign minister. The ministerial posts are distributed so that the balance between different clans is maintained, but not all subclans are represented.
AU takes control of Kismayo
Representatives of Amisom say at the beginning of the month that control of Kismayo has now been secured. However, the city is shaken by a series of bomb attacks. Nearly 400 people are later arrested by the AU force in Kismayo, suspected of supporting al-Shabaab.
Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid becomes new prime minister
Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid is appointed new Prime Minister. He has limited political experience, and is said to have stood outside Somali clan politics.
Puntland’s regional selection is postponed
At the end of the month, Puntland President Abdirahman Muhammed Mahmud “Farole” announces that elections in the region will be postponed until January 2013, leading to street protests.
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud becomes new president
University lecturer Hassan Sheikh Mohamud unexpectedly defeats Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in a second round of elections in the presidential election. He wins by 190 votes to 79 for Sheikh Ahmed. Before the vote is held, the last of the MPs will take office. Also approves the candidates rejected by the Review Committee; In several places in Somalia, demonstrations are held in support of the new president, who will formally take office on September 16.
35 candidates in the presidential election
35 candidates are running for president. Top candidates include incumbent President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and former President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden. Several candidates have lived abroad for many years, including the academic Ahmed Ismail Samatar, who has lived in the United States for over 30 years, and Yusuf Garaad Omar, a journalist who was previously head of the British BBC’s Somali-language broadcasts.
MEPs are rejected
20th of August
16 candidates have been rejected for accusations of war crimes. A dispute arises as to whether they should nevertheless become MPs, as President Sheikh Ahmed advocates. He says the matter should be referred to the Supreme Court. The UN and the Review Committee, for their part, argue that the Court has no right to make that decision. According to analysts, the 16 who have failed are people who have important militia groups, and there is a risk that they will disrupt the continuing process if they are not approved.
Corruption accusations sunk new parliament
The new Parliament for the first time, despite the fact that not all members have been appointed yet. From several quarters, people in the group of elders who appointed members are accused of receiving bribes from powerful businessmen (some must have paid $ 20,000- $ 40,000 for their place).
Proposed new constitution clear
A constituent assembly of 825 members approves with a large majority a proposal for a new constitution that stipulates, among other things, a number of civil rights, makes Islam a state religion and Islamic law, sharia, forms the basis for all legislation. The country’s regions will also be merged into 18 states. The constitution would have been approved in a referendum but this plan is rejected as it cannot be implemented in the al-Shabaab controlled areas of the country. Instead, the constitution must be approved by the new parliament.
The appeal for new food assistance
Save the children appeal for new food aid to Somalia. Lack of rain and the ongoing conflict, according to the aid organization, meant that many people risked food shortages this year as well.
Talks start between Somalia and Somaliland governments
At the end of the month, Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and his colleague from Somaliland Ahmed Silanyo will hold talks in Dubai. This is the first time that Somali and Somaliland representatives have met for formal talks.
The United States promises rewards in the fight against al-Shabaab
The United States promises rewards for accessing al-Shabaab’s supreme leader. The rewards range from three to seven million dollars.
Assistance on rest roads?
According to a report from the World Bank, the transitional government has not been able to report on how it spent $ 130 million it received in support in 2009-2010.
The government side takes control of Afgoye, Elasha Biyaha and Afmadow
The AU force, together with government forces, occupies an area northwest of Mogadishu where the Islamists are strong, since al-Shabaab withdrew. Later, Elasha Biyaha and Afmadow are also captured. This too happens without a fight. According to media reports, the transitional government’s forces are being accused of gross abuses against the local population, including a number of rapes.
The EU intervenes against pirates
The EU’s naval forces carry their first scare against pirate bases on the Somali mainland.
An agreement is reached on a new parliament
In the middle of the month, representatives of the Transitional Government, the Government of Finland and Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca meet in Garowe in Puntland where they agree to create a new parliament with 225 members instead of today’s 550 and an upper house with 54 elders. According to the plan, women will be given 30 percent of seats in parliament and they will be appointed by “respected women”.
New suicide act in Mogadishu
At least 15 people were killed in a bill bomb attack at a cafe in Mogadishu on February 9. al-Shabaab takes on the deed. The cafe is located in a district where many government representatives are moving.
The government side takes Badhadhe
Kenyan troops and faithful transitional groups in Mogadishu conquer the city of Badhadhe in southern Somalia from al-Shabaab.
The famine over in Somalia, but many dependent on relief
The UN considers that there is no longer hunger in Somalia. A good harvest and massive outside help are given as an explanation. However, the situation is still serious, the UN points out, which estimates that almost a third of the country’s residents depend on emergency aid.
Ten dead in suicide attack against Ethiopian AU base
al-Shabaab kills ten Ethiopian soldiers in a suicide attack against a military base in Beledweyne.
Offensive starts against al-Shabaab
Towards the end of the month, the government side, with the support of the AU force, will launch an offensive against al-Shabaab. At the same time, reports of famine still prevailed in several parts of the country.
New dispute between the President and Parliament
A conflict over the election of a new president breaks out in the transition parliament at the beginning of the month and leads to a hand in hand between several members. Parliament appoints Madobe Nunow as new president, but the president refuses to approve him without insisting that the post is still held by Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden.