Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is the easternmost country in Africa. It’s located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered by Ethiopia to the west and Djibouti to the northwest. The Gulf of Aden borders Somalia to the north and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia’s eastern coast borders the Indian Ocean.

Country Profile

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Mogadishu (locally known as Xamar or Hamar) is a major port in Somalia and the country’s capital. The city was founded in 720 AD and was important in the gold trade from the 9th to the 13th centuries. Its prime position on the coast also meant it played a role in the Silk Road maritime trade.

Britain colonized part of Somalia (and named it British Somaliland) in 1884, and Italy formed its own colony (Italian Somaliland) in 1889. British Somaliland was granted independence in 1960 and united with the newly independent Italian Somaliland in the same year to form the Somali Republic. This lasted until 1969, when the newly independent state became the Somali Democratic Republic following a bloodless coup. The country became the Federal Republic of Somalia in 2012.

Most of Somalia’s landscape is made up of plateaus, plains, and highlands. The country has the longest coastline in Africa, totaling 3,333 kilometers. Mount Shimbiris is Somalia’s highest peak. The mountain, located in the Al Madow mountain range, has an elevation of 2,460 meters.

There is little seasonal variation as the country is so close to the equator. The central and northeastern regions have an arid climate, while the northwest and southern regions have a semi-arid climate. The coastal regions are hot and humid throughout the year, although the inner regions are dry and hot.

Somalia is a federal parliamentary republic. The president of Somalia is the head of state, and the prime minister is the head of government.

Somalia: Stats and Facts

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