Five Things To Know About Strife-torn Somalia
Umer Jamshaid Published May 13, 2022 | 11:30 AM
Nairobi, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 13th May, 2022 ) :Somalia, which is due to elect a new president on Sunday, is a fragile Horn of Africa nation that has been battling an Islamist insurgency for over a decade and now faces a fresh threat of famine as a severe drought takes hold.
Here are five things to know about the troubled country: - Decades of chaos - Born in 1960 from the merger of the colonies of British Somalia (Somaliland, in the north) and Italian Somalia (in the south), the country plunged into civil war in 1991, when the military regime of Siad Barre fell.
The Islamic Courts Union took control of the capital Mogadishu and large parts of the country in 2006 before being ousted by Ethiopian troops.
The Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists controlled Mogadishu until 2011 when they were pushed out by an African Union force, but still hold territory in the countryside.
A sixth region, Somaliland, declared its independence in 1991, but does not have international recognition.
- Trouble with neighbours - Somalia is located on the Horn of Africa, with more than 3,000 kilometres (1,800 miles) of coastline -- the longest coastline of an African country -- that has the Indian Ocean to the east and the Gulf of Aden to the north.
- Clan-based politics - With a nomadic culture, Somali society has been organised for centuries on the basis of clans.
Clan affiliations affect many aspects of life, including politics. A so-called "4.5" power-sharing arrangement ensures Somalia's four major clans receive equal representation in government, with smaller clans sharing the remaining half-point.
State legislatures and clan delegates pick lawmakers for the national parliament, who in turn choose the president. In the past, the presidency has usually been won by a candidate belonging to the Hawiye or Darod clans.
In recent years, increasingly extreme droughts and floods have added to the devastation caused by a locust invasion and the Covid-19 pandemic.