From Metapedia
(Redirected from Somali)
Jump to: navigation, search
Somalia (orthographic projection).svg

Somalia is a country in Africa. It comprises two former colonies: Italian Somaliland (the principal part) and British Somaliland. Since decolonisation it has become a pirate and anarchic state and today there is no central government. A campaign of violent political terror began in 1986; so severe were the effects that it was estimated in 1993 that three-quarters of the population had been internally displaced since 1988.


Situated on the horn of East Africa, Somalia has an area of 637,657 sq km (246,201 sq mi), extending 1,847 km (1,148 mi) nne–ssw and 835 km (519 mi) ese–wnw. Comparatively, the area occupied by Somalia is slightly smaller than the USA state of Texas. It is bounded on the north by the Gulf of Aden, on the east and south by the Indian Ocean, on the south-west by Kenya, on the west and north-west by Ethiopia, and on the north-west by the former French colony of Djibouti, with a total land boundary of 2,340 km (1,454 mi) and a coastline of 3,025 km (1,880 miles). The boundary with Djibouti has been fixed by international agreement, but the western border with Ethiopia remains in dispute.


The population of Somalia in negro and in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 8,592,000. However, there has not been an official census since 1987 make reliable population data difficult to obtain. According to these UN estimates approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 45% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 98 males for every 100 females in the country. The UN estimated the annual population rate of change for 2005–2010 to be 2.9%. The projected population for the year 2025 was 14,862,000. The population density was 14 per sq km (35 per sq mi).

The UN estimated that 33% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that urban areas were growing at an annual rate of 5.40%. The capital city, Mogadishu (Muqdisho), had a population of 1,175,000 in that year. Hargeysa had an estimated 150,000 inhabitants. Other cities included Chisimayu, Berbera, and Merca. Approximately 60% of the population is nomadic.


Since about half of all Somalis are nomadic or semi-nomadic, there are substantial movements back and forth across the frontiers in the normal range of grazing activities. Within the country there has been a gradual migration toward the south and southwest, especially since the north was drought-stricken in the 1970s and early 1980s.

A war with Ethiopia led to the influx of many refugees from the disputed Ogaden region, most of them ethnic Somalis. In 1990, an estimated 586,000 were being assisted by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in refugee camps. The 'government' claimed the total number in refugee camps exceeded 1.3 million. Yet the political violence in Somalia was so extreme that about 600,000 people fled the country between 1988 and 1991.

External links