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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Somalia
local long form: Jamhuuriyada Demuqraadiga Soomaaliyeed
local short form: Soomaaliya
former: Somali Republic; Somali Democratic Republic
Gevernment typeno permanent national government; transitional, parliamentary federal government
Capital name: Mogadishu
geographic coordinates: 2 04 N, 45 22 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Flag descriptionlight blue with a large white five-pointed star in the center; blue field influenced by the flag of the UN
CurrencySomali shilling (SOS)
Internet country code.so
Ports and terminalsBoosaaso, Berbera, Kismaayo, Merca, Mogadishu
Agriculture productsbananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans; cattle, sheep, goats; fish
Industriesa few light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, wireless communication
Geography
LocationEastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia
Coordinates10 00 N, 49 00 E
ContinentAfrica
Area total: 637,657 sq km
land: 627,337 sq km
water: 10,320 sq km
Boundaries total: 2,340 km
border countries: Djibouti 58 km, Ethiopia 1,600 km, Kenya 682 km
Coastline3,025 km
Climateprincipally desert; northeast monsoon (December to February), moderate temperatures in north and very hot in south; southwest monsoon (May to October), torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons
Terrainmostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north
Natural resourcesuranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves
Natural hazardsrecurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during rainy season
People
Population8,863,338
note: this estimate was derived from an official census taken in 1975 by the Somali Government; population counting in Somalia is complicated by the large number of nomads and by refugee movements in response to famine and clan warfare (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsSomali 85%, Bantu and other non-Somali 15% (including Arabs 30,000)
ReligionsSunni Muslim
LanguagesSomali (official), Arabic, Italian, English

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