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Introduction: 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, Somalia 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,...

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People: The Cushitic populations of the Somali Coast in the Horn of Africa have an ancient history. Known by ancient Arabs as the Berberi, archaeological evidence indicates their presence in the Horn of Africa by A.D. 100 and possibly earlier. As early as the seventh century A.D., the indigenous Cushitic peoples began to mingle with Arab and Persian traders who had settled along the coast. Interaction ...

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International Relations: The UN is heavily involved in Somalia, primarily through the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) headed by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, Augustine Mahiga. UNPOS is mandated to help advance the cause of peace and reconciliation, through contacts with Somali leaders, civic organisations and the states and organisations concerned. UNPOS also provides political guidance, as needed, to the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN Agencies and organisations of the UN Country Team for Somalia.

Somali relations with Ethiopia are fragile. Ethiopia has a large Somali population, who mostly ...

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A paucity of written historical evidence forces the student of early Somalia to depend on the findings of archeology, anthropology, historical linguistics, and related disciplines. Such evidence has provided insights that in some cases have refuted conventional explanations of the origins and evolution of the Somali people. For example, where historians once believed that the Somalis originated ...

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Area Handbook Series
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