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currency: Somali shilling (SOS)
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Somalia profile
strategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Canal
Somalia history
Britain withdrew from British Somaliland in 1960 to allow its protectorate to join with Italian Somaliland and form the new nation of Somalia. In 1969, a coup headed by Mohamed SIAD Barre ushered in an authoritarian socialist rule characterized by the persecution, jailing and torture of political opponents and dissidents. After the regime's collapse early in 1991, Somalia descended into turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy. In May 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes the administrative regions of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool. Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence and continues efforts to establish a constitutional democracy, including holding municipal, parliamentary, and presidential elections. The regions of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug comprise a neighboring semi-autonomous state of Puntland, which has been self-governing since 1998 but does not aim at independence; it has also made strides toward reconstructing a legitimate, representative government but has suffered some civil strife. Puntland disputes its border with Somaliland as it also claims portions of eastern Sool and Sanaag. Beginning in 1993, a two-year UN humanitarian effort (primarily in the south) was able to alleviate famine conditions, but when the UN withdrew in 1995, having suffered significant casualties, order still had not been restored. In 2000, the Somalia National Peace Conference (SNPC) held in Djibouti resulted in the formation of an interim government, known as the Transitional National Government (TNG). When the TNG failed to establish adequate security or governing institutions, the Government of Kenya, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), led a subsequent peace process that concluded in October 2004 with the election of Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed as President of a second interim government, known as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of the Somali Republic. The TFG included a 275-member parliamentary body, known as the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP). President YUSUF resigned late in 2008 while United Nations-sponsored talks between the TFG and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) were underway in Djibouti. In January 2009, following the creation of a TFG-ARS unity government, Ethiopian military forces, which had entered Somalia in December 2006 to support the TFG in the face of advances by the opposition Islamic Courts Union (ICU), withdrew from the country. The TFP was doubled in size to 550 seats with the addition of 200 ARS and 75 civil society members of parliament. The expanded parliament elected Sheikh SHARIF Sheikh Ahmed, the former ICU and ARS chairman as president in January 2009. The creation of the TFG was based on the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC), which outlined a five-year mandate leading to the establishment of a new Somali constitution and a transition to a representative government following national elections. In 2009, the TFP amended the TFC to extend TFG's mandate until 2011 and in 2011 Somali principals agreed to institute political transition by August 2012. The transition process ended in September 2012 when clan elders appointed 275 members to a new parliament replacing the TFP and the subsequent election, by parliament, of a new president.
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Conventional long form: Federal Republic of Somalia
Conventional short form: Somalia
Local long form: Jamhuuriyadda Federaalkaa Soomaaliya
Local short form: Soomaaliya
Formerly known as: Somali Republic, Somali Democratic Republic
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Somalia's capital city is Mogadishu
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Somalia Constitution:
Provisional Constitution for the Federal Republic of Somalia, approved by a constitutional assembly 1 August 2012
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Somalia population growth rate: 1.596%
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Somalia highest point: Shimbiris 2,416 m
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Somalia lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
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About 2% of Somalia's land is arable.
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Jubba-Shebelle River is the Longest River in Somalia
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Somalia birth rate is 42 births/1,000 population
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Somalia infant mortality rate is 104 deaths/1,000 live births
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Somalia fertility rate is 6.17 children born/woman
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Somalia climate:
principally desert; northeast monsoon (December to February), moderate temperatures in north and hot in south; southwest monsoon (May to October), torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons
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Top 10 cities of Somalia with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Mogadishu: 1,353,000
2. Hargeisa: 1,200,000
3. Bosaso: 700,000
4. Galkacyo: 545,000
5. Berbera: 232,500
6. Merca: 230,100
7. Jamame: 224,700
8. Kismayo: 183,300
9. Baidoa: 157,500
10. Burao: 120,400
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Somalia ethnic groups:
Somali - 85%
Bantu and other non-Somali - 15% (including 30,000 Arabs)
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Somalia Exports:
livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal
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Somalia Imports:
manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat
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bicameral National Parliament consisting of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament (275 seats, elected by Somali citizens) and the Upper House of the Federal Parliament (54 seats, elected by people of the Federal member states)

Administrative Divisions:
18 regions (plural - NA, singular - gobolka)
1. Awdal
2. Bakool
3. Banaadir
4. Bari
5. Bay
6. Galguduud
7. Gedo
8. Hiiraan
9. Jubbada Dhexe (Middle Jubba)
10. Jubbada Hoose (Lower Jubba)
11. Mudug
12. Nugaal
13. Sanaag
14. Shabeellaha Dhexe (Middle Shabeelle)
15. Shabeellaha Hoose (Lower Shabeelle)
16. Sool
17. Togdheer
18. Woqooyi Galbeed