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Area: 637,657 sq. km.; slightly smaller than Texas.
Cities: Capital--Mogadishu. Other cities--Beledweyne, Kismayo, Baidoa, Jowhar, Merca, Bosasso, Hargeisa, Berbera.
Terrain: Mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in the north.
Climate: Principally desert; December to February--northeast monsoon, moderate temperatures in north, and very hot in the south; May to October--southwest monsoon, torrid in the north, and hot in the south; irregular rainfall; hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons.

Nationality: Noun--Somali(s). Adjective--Somali.
Population (2002 est., no census exists): 9.6 million (of which an estimated 2-3 million in Somaliland).
Annual growth rate (2001 est.): 3.48%.
Ethnic groups: Somali, with a small non-Somali minority (mostly Bantu and Arabs).
Religion: 99.9% Muslim.
Languages: Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English.
Education: Literacy--total population that can read and write, 24%: male 36%; female 14%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--123.97/1,000 live births. Life expectancy at birth--total population: 46.6 yrs.
Work force (3.7 million; very few are skilled workers): Pastoral nomad--60%. Agriculture, government, trading, fishing, industry, handicrafts, and other--40%.

Type: None.
Independence: July 1, 1960 (from a merger of the former Somaliland Protectorate under British rule, which became independent from the UK on June 26, 1960, and Italian Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-administered UN trusteeship on July 1, 1960 to form the Somali Republic).
Constitution: None in force. Note: A Transitional Federal Charter was established in February 2004 and is expected to serve as the basis for a future constitution in Somalia. In August 2004, the Somali Transitional Federal Assembly (TFA) was established as part of the IGAD-led Somalia National Reconciliation Conference in accordance with the Charter. The Somalia National Reconciliation Conference concluded following the election of a Transitional President in October 2004.
Branches: Executive--Somalia has had no functioning national government since the United Somali Congress (USC) ousted the regime of Maj. Gen. Mohamed Siad "Barre" in January 1991. The present political situation in much of Somalia is marked by inter-clan fighting and random banditry, with some areas of peace and stability. On October 10, 2004, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was elected Transitional Federal President of Somalia for a five-year period. A Prime Minister, Ali Mohamed Gedi was approved by the Transitional Federal Assembly on December 24, 2004. A cabinet, consisting of 90 ministers and deputy ministers, was appointed in January 2005. Legislative--parliamentary (Transitional Federal Assembly, established in August 2004. Shariff Hassan Sheilh Adan was elected Speaker of the Assembly in September 2004.) Judicial--Supreme Court: not functioning; no nationwide system; Islamic (shari’a) and secular courts in some localities.
Political party: None functioning. Legal system: none functioning.
Note: In 1991 a congress drawn from the inhabitants of the former Somaliland Protectorate declared withdrawal from the 1960 union with Somalia to form the self-declared Republic of Somaliland. Somaliland has not received international recognition, but has maintained a de jure separate status since that time. Its form of government is republican, with a bicameral legislature including an elected elders chamber and a house of representatives. The judiciary is independent, and various political parties exist. In line with the Somaliland Constitution, Vice President Dahir Riyale Kahin assumed the presidency following the death of former president Mohamed Ibrahim Egal in 2002. Kahin was elected President of Somaliland in elections determined to be free and fair by international observers in May 2003. Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on September 15, 2005.
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal (no nationwide elections).
Administrative subdivisions: 18 regions (plural--NA; singular--Gobolka). Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiraan, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe, Shabeellah Hoose, Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed.
Central government budget: N/A.
Defense: N/A.
National holiday: July 1 (June 26 in Somaliland).

GDP (2001 est.): U.S. $900 million.
Annual growth rate (2001 est.): 5.4%.
Per capita income: N/A.
Avg. inflation rate (2001 est.): 6.0%.
Natural resources: Largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, uranium, copper, and salt; likely petroleum and natural gas reserves.
Agriculture: Products--livestock, bananas, corn, sorghum, sugar. Arable land--13%, of which 2% is cultivated.
Industry: Types--Telecommunications, livestock, fishing, textiles, transportation, and limited financial services. Somalia’s surprisingly innovative private sector has continued to function despite the lack of a functioning central government since 1991.
Trade (1999): Exports--$110 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.): livestock, bananas, hides and skins, sugar, sorghum, corn. Major markets--Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Pakistan. Imports--$314 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.): food grains, animal and vegetable oils, petroleum products, construction materials. Major suppliers--Djibouti, Kenya, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India.
Aid disbursed (2002): $174.4 million. Primary donors--European Union, United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, World Bank.
Remittances (2004 est.): $800 million to $1 billion.
U.S. assistance (2004): $29 million.

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
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