Category:   World Travel Directory  :  Africa  :  Somalia
Somalia, officially the Republic of Somalia and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Djibouti to the northwest, Kenya to the southwest, the Gulf of Aden with Yemen to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Ethiopia to the west.

Italian Somaliland gained its independence from Italy on 1 July 1960. On the same day, it united with British Somaliland, which gained independence on 26 June 1960, to form the Somali republic. The Somali state currently exists largely in a de jure capacity; Somalia has a weak but largely recognised central government authority, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), but this is only the latest in a string of ineffectual, externally recognized governing authorities.

De facto control of the north of the country resides in the regional authorities. Of these, Puntland, Northland State, Maakhir, Galmudug, acknowledge the authority of the TFG and maintain their declaration of autonomy within a federated Somalia, while Central, Southern Somalia, and Kismayo (the third largest city in Somalia) are under the control of the Islamic Courts Union and Al-Shabab. Baidoa is currently the seat of the TFG, and Somalia's commercial centre. On the other hand, the Somaliland region in the north, with its capital in Hargeisa, has unilaterally declared independence and does not recognise the TFG as governing authority.  

It is unrecognised internationally due in part to opposition from the TFG and other countries, such as neighbouring Ethiopia, which fear ensuing secessionist movements. For the third consecutive year, Forbes ranked Somalia as the most dangerous destination in the world, with Afghanistan trailing behind. Source

Somalia Facts

Population: 10 million

Capital: Mogadishu

Currency: Somali Shilling

Area: 637,661 km2

Language: Somali, Arabic

Main Religion: Muslim

Calling Code: +252

Time Zone: GMT + 3

Main Cities: Berbera, Hargeysa, Kismayo, Marka, Muqdiso