Somalia is situated in peninsula of the same name in north-west Africa (known also as African Corner). In north, the territory is washed by Aden Straits, and in east and south by Indian Ocean. The country neighbours in north-west with Djibouti, in south-west with Kenya, and finally, in west with Ethiopia. In the north of the country, you can find several mountain ranges at heights of 915-2135 metres above sea level. On the other hand, in south, a wide sandy plateau is spreaded. Total extent of the territory makes 637,7 thousands of square kilometres. As a capital, it is Mogadiscio.
The official name is The Repubic of Somalia, accepted by temporary government. However, it is not acknowledged completely in the country. In fact, this temporary government controls south part of the country only, where it is fighting against radical group of „The Unit if Islamic Courts“. So, north-west part is known as Puntland, whereas north-west part is an independent state Somaliland, not acknowledged from international point of view.
According to CIA World Factbook, the country has more than 10 million of inhabitants (however, exact data are unknown). This estimate is deducted from official census made in 1975. However, population number is complicated owing to great number of nomads and move of refugees, as an answer for a hunger and civic war. The ethnical composition of the country is formed with 85% Somalians, and 15% of inhabitants is of Bantu origin and other nationalities. (including 30 thousands of Arabs).
From official point of view, Somalia is a Republic with President as a Head of State. The respective legislative power is represented with one chamber National Assembly. However, the country suffers from permanent armed ethnical and party conflicts (just since 1990, the war between two clans is on. It was not managed to stop it, even with the help of military contingent of United Nations).
Even Central Judicature is out of order. When central government collapsed, most of regions returned to local form of conflicts´ solution, so to civil, traditional Somalian custom law or Islam law of Sharia.
In Somalia, you can communicate in local Somalian language or Arabic (both are official languages), but, on the other hand, you can speak there also English of Italian. Except of these, you can communicate there also Swahili, mainly in south regions.
Nearly 99% of inhabitants are Noslems-Sunnits. Islam is a state religion.
Text: Maxim Kucer
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
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