Somalia History

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History[edit | edit source]

In the late 19th century, through a succession of treaties, the British and Italian empires gained control of parts of the coast and established the colonies of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. In the interior, Mohammed Abdullah Hassan's Darwiish repelled the British Empire four times and forced it to retreat to the coastal region, before succumbing to defeat in 1920 by British air power. Italy acquired full control of the northeastern, central and southern parts of the area after successfully waging the so-called Campaign of the Sultanates against the ruling Majeerteen Sultanate and Sultanate of Hobyo. 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.

The Supreme Revolutionary Council seized power in 1969 and established the Somali Democratic Republic. This government later collapsed in 1991 as the Somali Civil War broke out. Various armed factions began competing for influence in the power vacuum, particularly in the south. During this period, due to the absence of a central government, Somalia was a failed state, and residents returned to customary and religious law in most regions. A few autonomous regions, including the Somaliland and Puntland administrations, emerged in the north.

The early 2000s saw the creation of fledgling interim federal administrations. The Transitional National Government was established in 2000, followed by the formation of the Transitional Federal Government in 2004, which reestablished national institutions such as the military. In 2006, the Transitional Federal Government, assisted by Ethiopian troops, assumed control of most of the nation's southern conflict zones from the newly formed Islamic Courts Union. The Islamic Courts Union subsequently splintered into more radical groups such as Al-Shabaab, which battled the Transitional Federal Government and its allies for control of the region.

By mid-2012, the insurgents had lost most of the territory that they had seized. In 2011–2012, a political process providing benchmarks for the establishment of permanent democratic institutions was launched. Within this administrative framework a new provisional constitution was passed in August 2012, which reformed Somalia as a federation. Following the end of the Transitional Federal Government'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 formed and a period of reconstruction began in Mogadishu. Somalia has maintained an informal economy, mainly based on livestock, remittances from Somalis working abroad, and telecommunications.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

1870 - Only 10 percent of Africa was under formal European control. There were multiple motivations for European colonizers, including the quest for national prestige, tensions between pairs of European powers, religious missionary zeal and internal African native politics
1881 - 1914 The Scramble for Africa was the occupation, division, and colonisation of African territory by European powers during the period of the New Imperialism
1884 - The Berlin Conference, which regulated European colonization and trade in Africa, is usually referred to as the ultimate point of the Scramble for Africa
1920's - The dawn of fascism heralded a change of strategy for Italy, as the north-eastern sultanates were soon to be forced within the boundaries of La Grande Somalia according to the plan of Fascist Italy
1960 -The two territories united to form the Somali Republic, within boundaries drawn up by Italy and Britain
1976 - Established was the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party, a one-party government based on scientific socialism and Islamic tenets
1995 - The UN withdrew Operation United Shield, having suffered significant casualties, and with the rule of government still not restored
2016 - Following the outbreak of the civil war, many of Somalia's residents left in search of asylum. There were around 975,951 registered refugees from the country in neighboring states. Additionally, 1.1 million people were internally displaced persons