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Somalia Geography

    Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia

    Geographic coordinates: 10 00 N, 49 00 E

    Map references: Africa

    Area:
    total: 637,660 sq km
    land: 627,340 sq km
    water: 10,320 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

    Land boundaries:
    total: 2,366 km
    border countries: Djibouti 58 km, Ethiopia 1,626 km, Kenya 682 km

    Coastline: 3,025 km

    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 200 nm

    Climate: principally desert; December to February—northeast monsoon, moderate temperatures in north and very hot in south; May to October—southwest monsoon, torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons

    Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Shimbiris 2,416 m

    Natural resources: uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt

    Land use:
    arable land: 2%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 69%
    forests and woodland: 26%
    other: 3% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 1,800 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer

    Environment—current issues: famine; use of contaminated water contributes to human health problems; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Endangered Species, Law of the Sea
    signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban

    Geography—note: strategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Canal

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)