Capital city: Mogadishu
Languages: Somali and Arabic (official)
Population: 10 million
Area: 627,340 sq km
GDP per capita: 139 (1990)
GDP current US$: 1 (1990)
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 continent, and its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands. Hot conditions prevail year-round, along with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall.
Somalia has a population of around 10 million. About 85% of local residents are ethnic Somalis, who have historically inhabited the northern part of the country. Ethnic minority groups make up the remainder of the nation's population, and are largely concentrated in the southern regions. 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.
In the absence of a central government, Somalia's residents reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, consisting of civil law, religious law and customary law. A few autonomous regions, including the Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug administrations, emerged in the north in the ensuing process of decentralization. The early 2000s saw the creation of fledgling interim federal administrations. The Transitional National Government (TNG) was established in 2000 followed by the formation of its successor the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2004, which reestablished national institutions such as the Military of Somalia.
In 2006, the TFG, assisted by Ethiopian troops, assumed control of most of the nation's southern conflict zones from the newly formed Islamic Courts Union (ICU). The ICU subsequently splintered into more radical groups such as Al-Shabaab, which battled the TFG and its AMISOM allies for control of the region, with the insurgents losing most of the territory that they had seized by mid-2012. In 2011-2012, a Roadmap political process providing clear benchmarks leading toward the establishment of permanent democratic institutions was launched. Within this administrative framework, a new Provisional Constitution was passed in August 2012, which designates Somalia as a federation.
Following the end of the TFG's interim mandate the same month, the Federal Government of Somalia, the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the civil war, was also formed. The nation has concurrently experienced a period of intense reconstruction, particularly in the capital, Mogadishu. Through the years, Somalia has maintained an informal economy, based mainly on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies, and telecommunications.
Source : Wikipedia