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Somalia Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Somalia
    former: Somali Republic, Somali Democratic Republic

    Data code: SO

    Government type: none

    Capital: Mogadishu

    Administrative divisions: 18 regions (plural—NA, singular—gobolka); Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiiraan, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe, Shabeellaha Hoose, Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed

    Independence: 1 July 1960 (from a merger of British Somaliland, which became independent from the UK on 26 June 1960, and Italian Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-administered UN trusteeship on 1 July 1960, to form the Somali Republic)

    National holiday: NA

    Constitution: 25 August 1979, presidential approval 23 September 1979

    Legal system: NA

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch: Somalia has no functioning government; the United Somali Congress (USC) ousted the regime of Major General Mohamed SIAD Barre on 27 January 1991; the present political situation is one of anarchy, marked by interclan fighting and random banditry

    Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly or Golaha Shacbiga
    note: not functioning

    Judicial branch: (not functioning); note—following the breakdown of national government, most regions have reverted to Islamic law with a provision for appeal of all sentences

    Political parties and leaders: none

    Political pressure groups and leaders: numerous clan and subclan factions are currently vying for power

    International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)

    Diplomatic representation in the US: Somalia does not have an embassy in the US (ceased operations on 8 May 1991)

    Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Somalia; US interests are represented by the US Embassy in Nairobi at Moi Avenue and Haile Selassie Avenue; mail address: P. O. Box 30137, Unit 64100, Nairobi; APO AE 09831; telephone: [254] (2) 334141; FAX [254] (2) 340838

    Flag description: light blue with a large white five-pointed star in the center; design based on the flag of the UN (Italian Somaliland was a UN trust territory)

    Government—note: While chaos and clan fighting continue in most of Somalia, some orderly government has been established in the northern part. In May 1991, the elders of clans in former British Somaliland established the independent Republic of Somaliland, which, although not recognized by any government, maintains a stable existence, aided by the overwhelming dominance of the ruling clan and the economic infrastructure left behind by British, Russian and American military assistance programs. The economy has been growing and in February 1996 the EU agreed to finance the reconstruction of the port of Berbera; since then, other aid projects have been assumed by the EU and by a non-governmental Italian organization.

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