History of Somalia
Somalis originate from South Arabian Arabs who moved to the territory of present-day Somalia and mixed with the local Kushite population. In the 16th-19th centuries Several sultanates existed in this territory. From Ser. 17th century certain areas of the coast fell under the control of the Turks, Egyptians and the Sultan of Zanzibar. In 1884–88 Great Britain, France, and Italy divided the entire coastal strip of Somalia among themselves. The northern part of Somalia became dependent on Great Britain, the southern part was under the rule of Italy. After the end of World War II, anti-colonial sentiments intensified among the population. In 1960, Great Britain and Italy declared their trust territories independent, both territories united, and on July 1, 1960, the Somali Republic appeared. The confrontation of the parties of both parts of the country, based on tribal division, caused a military coup led by General Mohammed Siad Barre in October 1969. The Somali Republic was renamed the Somali Democratic Republic. In 1976, Barre founded the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party. In 1979, a new constitution was adopted that legalized the one-party system. In January 1991, the never-fading confrontation between clan military-political groups and the worsening economic situation led to the fall of the totalitarian regime. Check cancermatters for political system of Somalia.
The United Somali Congress (USC) took power, and Ali Mahdi Mohamed was elected interim president. However, the chairman of the USC and the leader of one of the USC factions, General Aidid, seized control over a significant part of the country’s territory. A large number of military-political clan organizations in Somalia most often fight either on the side of the Somali National Alliance (SNA), the leader is the son of Aidid Hussein Aidid, or on the side of the Somali Salvation Alliance (SAS), the leader is Ali Mahdi Mohamed. In con. 1994 both coalitions formed governments and appointed their leaders as presidents. In 1991, the Republic of Somaliland was formed in the north of the country, the capital is Hargeisa. Somaliland introduced its own currency (1995), Constitution (1997), seeks international recognition. In April 2003, the first general presidential election was held, won by Dahir Riyale Kahin. In 1998, the self-governing region “Puntland” was formed with its capital in Garoy, its goal is federal administration in a single Somalia. In 1998, General Morgan announced plans to establish a “Puntland”-style regional administration called “Jubaland” in the south of the two districts of Jubad Khuz and Jubad Dheks. These plans were hindered by ongoing active internecine clashes here, incl. units supporting Hussain Aidid and Ali Mahdi. In April 2002, groups in the southwestern part of the country declared autonomy for 6 regions and formed the “Southwestern Regional Government”. In 1998, General Morgan announced plans to establish a “Puntland”-style regional administration called “Jubaland” in the south of the two districts of Jubad Khuz and Jubad Dheks. These plans were hindered by ongoing active internecine clashes here, incl. units supporting Hussain Aidid and Ali Mahdi. In April 2002, groups in the southwestern part of the country declared autonomy for 6 regions and formed the “Southwestern Regional Government”. In 1998, General Morgan announced plans to establish a “Puntland”-style regional administration called “Jubaland” in the south of the two districts of Jubad Khuz and Jubad Dheks. These plans were hindered by ongoing active internecine clashes here, incl. units supporting Hussain Aidid and Ali Mahdi. In April 2002, groups in the southwestern part of the country declared autonomy for 6 regions and formed the “Southwestern Regional Government”.
The ongoing war of clan groups since 1991 plunged the country into a state of chaos and anarchy. To the beginning 2000 in Somalia, there were approximately 20 districts with their own leaders. Since 1991, attempts have been made to peacefully unify the country. In 2000, the 13th peace conference was held in Djibouti, at which an interim government was formed with a transitional president, Abdikasim Salad Hassan. In March 2001, the Council for the Reconstruction and Reconciliation of Somalia (SRC) emerged as an alliance of opposition forces. Since 1991, efforts to peacefully resolve the political situation and organize humanitarian assistance to the population have been constantly made by the world community, primarily the UN and its divisions.
State structure and political system of Somalia
In January 1991, as a result of the overthrow of President Siad Barre, the 1979 Constitution (as amended in 1990) ceased to have effect. Since 1991, the country has been in a state of disintegration of the nationwide system of government. There are 18 administrative regions in the country. The largest cities (thousand people, 2003 estimate): Mogadishu, Hargeisa (241.2), Kismayo (209.3), Berbera (222.7), Mark (179.7).
In 2000, in Djibouti, members of the National Assembly (245 people), representing a wide range of Somali tribes and clans, formed a transitional national government, giving it a mandate for 3 years to create a new Constitution, hold elections and create a permanent national Somali government. The head of state is Abdika-sim Salad Hasan (since 2000). Prime Minister – Hassan Abshir Farah (since 2001). Suffrage is universal, from the age of 18.
There is no nationwide judiciary system. Sharia courts and customary law operate in some areas.
There are no political parties as such, there are clan military-political groups whose struggle for power has plunged the country into a state of many years of civil war. The most influential among them are: the Somali National Alliance (SNA), founded in 1992 as an alliance of the National Movement of Southern Somalia (it withdrew from the alliance in 1993) and factions of the United Somali Congress, the Somali Democratic Movement and the Somali Patriotic Movement, chairman – Hussein Mohamed Aidid; The Somali Salvation Alliance (SAS) is a new coalition formed by 12 USC factions that are in opposition to General Aidid, includes 10 groups, incl. The Somali African organization Muki, the Somali Patriotic Movement, the United Somali Congress (a faction of Mahdi supporters), and others, the leader is Ali Mahdi Mohamed.
Associated with the traditional occupation of the Somalis, nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralism, the constant migration of large masses of the population over long distances, the scarcity of pastures and water sources are a constant cause of tribal, inter-clan conflicts and clashes. The politicization of Somali society throughout the years of state independence (since 1960) raised intertribal conflicts to the level of a fierce struggle for power between military-political groups and their leaders, which, in turn, led to the disintegration of the state.
The number of men aged 15-49 who are fit for military service is 1,040,662 (2002).
From January 1991, all foreign embassies in Somalia were closed and diplomatic personnel left the country.
Diplomatic relations with the USSR were established in September 1960. The break in relations between Somalia and the USSR, which refused to recognize Somalia’s territorial claims to its neighbors and supported Ethiopia, occurred in November 1977. The Russian Federation, as the successor to the USSR, does not have official diplomatic relations with Somalia. However, Somalia retains the right to an embassy in Moscow.