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Gulf of Aden, Horn of Africa, Mogadishu, central government, anarchy

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Somalia, republic in East Africa, occupying the tip of the Horn of Africa. The dry, sparsely populated country has been in a state of civil war and anarchy since 1991, when the central government was overthrown. Somalia is bounded on the north by the Gulf of Aden, on the east and south by the Indian Ocean, on the southwest by Kenya, on the west by Ethiopia, and on the northwest by Djibouti. The total area is 637,700 sq km (246,200 sq mi). Mogadishu is the capital and largest city.


For younger readers

Fox, Mary Virginia. Somalia. Children's Press, 1996. An introduction to the country; for readers in grades 5 to 8.

Nnoromele, Salome C. Somalia. Lucent, 2000. For readers in grades 5 to 8.


Bowden, Mark. Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. Grove Atlantic, 1999. An acclaimed account of U.S. intervention in Mogadishu.

Lewis, Ioan M. A Modern History of Somalia: Nation and State in the Horn of Africa. 2nd ed. Westview, 1988. Political evolution to the civil war; update of a work originally published in 1965.

Peterson, Scott. Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda. Routledge, 2000. Illustrates how U.S. preventive action and a better understanding of Africa might have averted much suffering.

Prendergast, John. Crisis Response: Humanitarian Band-AIDS in Sudan and Somalia. Pluto, 1997. Provides a range of initiatives and options for humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa.

Sahnoun, Mohamed. Somalia: The Missed Opportunities. United States Institute of Peace Press, 1994. A veteran diplomat analyzes the failure of relief efforts by the United Nations in 1992.


Microsoft Encarta 2009. 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

Gulf of Aden, Horn of Africa, Mogadishu, central government, anarchy, largest city, total area, Indian Ocean, East Africa, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, republic, tip, west, dry

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