Pub. date: 2012 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI: 10.4135/9781452218458 | Print ISBN: 9781412981767 | Online ISBN: 9781452218458| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Somalia (2000s): 1900 to Present: Africa
Elizabeth Rholetter Purdy
Despite the fact that the east African nation of Somalia is an oil-producing nation with an ethnically and religiously homogeneous population, the country, which has spent much of its history embroiled in internal conflict, continues to be unable to provide a basic standard of living for its people. The United Nations classifies it as one of the most food-insecure nations in the world. At least 85 percent of the people are Somali, speak the Somali language, and identify themselves as Sunni Muslims. Somalia achieved independence in 1960 when Great Britain withdrew, leaving its former protectorate free to form a political union with Italian Somaliland. Within a decade, a military coup brought relative stability to Somalia under the dictatorship of Major General Mohamed Siad Barre. The union with Italian Somaliland was dissolved in 1991 when Barre was deposed, and Somalia became the first nation in the world to face a total ...