The Somalia Portal

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Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia has the longest coastline on the mainland of Africa, with a seaboard that stretches 3,025 kilometres (1,880 mi).

In antiquity, Somalia was an important centre for commerce with the rest of the ancient world, it is among the most probable locations of the fabled ancient Land of Punt. During the Middle Ages, several powerful Somali empires dominated the regional trade, including the Ajuuraan State, the Adal Sultanate, the Warsangali Sultanate and the Geledi Sultanate. In the late nineteenth century, through a succession of treaties with these kingdoms, the British and Italians gained control of parts of the coast, and established British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. In the interior, Muhammad Abdullah Hassan's Dervish State successfully repulsed the British Empire four times and forced it to retreat to the coastal region. Italian occupation lasted until 1941, yielding to British military administration. British Somaliland would remain a protectorate, while Italian Somaliland in 1949 became a United Nations Trusteeship under Italian administration, the Trust Territory of Somaliland. In 1960, the two regions united to form the independent Somali Republic under a civilian government.

Somalia has a population of around 10 million. About 85% of local residents are ethnic Somalis, Somali and Arabic are the official languages of Somalia, both of which belong to the Afro-Asiatic family. Most people in the territory are Muslims, the majority being Sunni.

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The Ethiopian–Somali conflict is a territorial and political dispute between the territories of present-day Ethiopia and Somalia. Lasting from the late 1940s, when the Ogaden region was handed over to Ethiopia by the British, into the present day, the tensions culminated in three wars and numerous military clashes alongside the borders. However, because of the Somali Civil War and the lack of a functioning central government in Somalia since the collapse of the Democratic Republic of Somalia in 1991, Ethiopia enjoys the upper hand militarily and economically. (Full article...)
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Somalia participated at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom, which took place from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The country's participation in London marked its ninth appearance in the Summer Olympics since its debut at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The delegation included one short-distance sprinter and one long-distance runner: Mohamed Hassan Mohamed and Zamzam Mohamed Farah. Both qualified for the games through wildcard places from the International Association of Athletics Federations. Farah was selected as the flag bearer for both the opening and closing ceremonies. Mohamed and Farah failed to advance beyond the heat stage of their respective events. (Full article...)

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