Somalia: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, size, population, and government of the land Somalia.



Location--At the "Horn of Africa," the continent's easternmost point; north is the Gulf of Aden; east and south, the Indian Ocean; west, Kenya, Ethiopia, and the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas.

How Created--Somalia (Italian Somaliland) and British Somaliland joined in 1960 to form the Somali Republic. Its frontiers, however, are artificial and nomadic Somalis spread out to all neighboring countries.

Size--246,154 sq. mi. (637,541 sq. km.), slightly smaller than Texas.

Population--3,200,000: Somali, 76%; Sab 19%; Bantu, 3.6%; Arab, 1.1%; other, 0.3%. Predominantly Sunni Muslim.

Who Rules--As a constitutional republic, Somali has a one-house legislature, the National Assembly. Both constitution and assembly are presently suspended.

Who REALLY Rules--The Supreme Revolutionary Council, which took power in 1969, dissolved the legislature, and rules in its place by decree through a strongman head. The regime pledges to erase the "inefficiency, graft, and injustice of the past."

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