Country Studies - Somalia  Terrain, vegetation and drainage[ edit ] Satellite image of Somalia Topography of Somalia Physio-graphically, Somalia is a land of limited contrast. In the north, a maritime semidesert plain parallels the Gulf of Aden coast, varying in width from roughly twelve kilometers in the west to as little as two kilometers in the east. Scrub-covered, this plain, known as the Guban scrub landis crossed by broad, shallow watercourses that are beds of dry sand except in the rainy seasons.
Prehistory Neolithic rock art at the Laas Geel complex depicting a long-horned cow. Somalia has been inhabited since at least the Paleolithic. During the Stone Age, the Doian and Hargeisan cultures flourished here.
Each painting has an inscription below it, which collectively have been estimated to be around 2, years old. Ancient pyramidical structures, mausoleumsruined cities and stone walls, such as the Wargaade Wallare evidence of an old civilization that once thrived in the Somali peninsula.
They were reputed for their longevity and wealth, and were said to be the "tallest and handsomest of all men". The Macrobian ruler, who was elected based on his stature and beauty, replied instead with a challenge for his Persian counterpart in the form of an unstrung bow: From there, it spread to Egypt and the Maghreb.
They used the ancient Somali maritime vessel known as the beden to transport their cargo.
After the Roman conquest of the Nabataean Empire and the Roman naval presence at Aden to curb piracy, Arab and Somali merchants agreed with the Romans to bar Indian ships from trading in the free port cities of the Arabian peninsula  to protect the interests of Somali and Arab merchants in the lucrative commerce between the Red and Mediterranean Seas.
The source of the cinnamon and other spices is said to have been the best-kept secret of Arab and Somali merchants in their trade with the Roman and Greek world; the Romans and Greeks believed the source to have been the Somali peninsula.
Islam was introduced to the area early on from the Arabian peninsula, shortly after the Masjid al-Qiblatayn. It was thus flanked to the south by the Ajuran Empire and to the west by the Abyssinian Empire. From Le livre des Merveilles, 15th century.
From this new capital, Adal organised an effective army led by Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi Ahmad "Gurey" or "Gran"; both meaning "the left-handed" that invaded the Abyssinian empire. Vasco da Gamawho passed by Mogadishu in the 15th century, noted that it was a large city with houses several storeys high and large palaces in its centre, in addition to many mosques with cylindrical minarets.
Barbosa also highlighted the abundance of meat, wheat, barley, horses, and fruit on the coastal markets, which generated enormous wealth for the merchants. In the early modern period, successor states to the Adal Sultanate and Ajuran Sultanate began to flourish in Somalia.
They continued the tradition of castle-building and seaborne trade established by previous Somali empires. His army came out victorious during the Bardheere Jihad, which restored stability in the region and revitalized the East African ivory trade.
He also received presents from and had cordial relations with the rulers of neighbouring and distant kingdoms such as the Omani, Witu and Yemeni Sultans. The Gerads and the Bari Sultans built impressive palaces and fortresses and had close relations with many different empires in the Near East.
One of the forts of the Majeerteen Sultanate in Hafun. In the late 19th century, after the Berlin Conference ofEuropean powers began the Scramble for Africawhich inspired the Dervish leader Mohammed Abdullah Hassan to rally support from across the Horn of Africa and begin one of the longest colonial resistance wars ever.
In several of his poems and speeches, Hassan emphasized that the British "have destroyed our religion and made our children their children" and that the Christian Ethiopians in league with the British were bent upon plundering the political and religious freedom of the Somali nation.
He soon acquired weapons from the Ottoman Empire, Sudan, other Islamic and Arabian countries, and appointed ministers and advisers to administer different areas or sectors of Somalia. In addition, he gave a clarion call for Somali unity and independence, in the process organizing his forces.
Central Mogadishu in Italian Somaliland It was characterized by a rigid hierarchy and centralization. Though Hassan threatened to drive the Christians into the sea, he executed the first attack by launching his first major military offensive with his Dervish equipped with 20 modern rifles on the British soldiers stationed in the region.
He repulsed the British in four expeditions and had relations with the Central Powers of the Ottomans and the Germans. Inthe Dervish state collapsed after intensive aerial bombardments by Britain, and Dervish territories were subsequently turned into a protectorate.
The dawn of fascism in the early s 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.
Italy had access to these areas under the successive protection treaties, but not direct rule. The Fascist government had direct rule only over the Benadir territory. Fascist Italyunder Benito Mussoliniattacked Abyssinia Ethiopia inwith an aim to colonize it. The invasion was condemned by the League of Nationsbut little was done to stop it or to liberate occupied Ethiopia.
On 3 AugustItalian troops, including Somali colonial units, crossed from Ethiopia to invade British Somalilandand by 14 August, succeeded in taking Berbera from the British. A British force, including troops from several African countries, launched the campaign in January from Kenya to liberate British Somaliland and Italian-occupied Ethiopia and conquer Italian Somaliland.
They were assisted by Somali forces led by Abdulahi Hassan with Somalis of the IsaaqDhulbahanteand Warsangali clans prominently participating. These were advantages that British Somaliland, which was to be incorporated into the new Somali state, did not have. Although in the s British colonial officials attempted, through various administrative development efforts, to make up for past neglect, the protectorate stagnated.
The disparity between the two territories in economic development and political experience would later cause serious difficulties integrating the two parts. This prompted an unsuccessful bid by Britain in to buy back the Somali lands it had turned over. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France, largely due to a combined yes vote by the sizeable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans.intellectual framework, allowing for further analysis and study.
This report is one of the core products of the CGPCS Lessons Learned Project.
The Fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia: lessons learned from the Contact Group 7 IntRodUCtIon Thierry Tardy. The first three months of saw piracy attacks worldwide hit an all time high, largely driven by piracy off the coast of Somalia.
(U) The Piracy Analysis and Warning Weekly (PAWW) Report provides a review of incidents and an outlook on the threat to merchant shipping in or near the Gulf of Aden and off the East coast of Somalia .
Somalia has several islands and archipelagos on its coast, including the Bajuni Islands and the Saad ad-Din Archipelago. The Jubba River In the north, a scrub-covered, semi-desert plain referred as the Guban lies parallel to the Gulf of Aden pfmlures.comcy: Somali shilling (SOS).
Nov 18, · Somalia: Analysis of a failed state Unless there is a successful rescue mission, the Sirius Star may find itself anchored off the coast of Puntland. Thanks to Somalia. President Obama vowed an international crackdown to halt piracy off the coast of Somalia Monday soon after the freeing of US cargo ship captain Richard Phillips, who had been held hostage by.