Somalia Overview

The long civil war that has plagued Somalia in recent decades has led the country to a process of fragmentation into different entities with autonomous political, administrative and military institutions. At the Djibouti conference held in August 2000, a president, a government and a transitional parliament were created, which re-established a partial and uncertain control of the territory only after the intervention of the Ethiopian and Ugandan troops sent by the African Union in 2006. Somaliland is exempt from this scenario, which has by now equipped itself with autonomous institutions proclaiming itself a State. The judicial system is based on Islamic principles. At the top of the judicial administration are the Supreme Court, based in the capital, and the Courts of Appeal, based in Mogadishu and Hargeisa. Subsequently there are regional courts and district courts, with limited civil and criminal jurisdiction, to which are added Islamic courts. The country’s political instability is also reflected in the judiciary: in the aftermath of the withdrawal of the UN troops, Islamic courts have become increasingly important, extending their jurisdiction to most crimes. The death penalty is in effect. Before the civil war, the defense of the country was entrusted to the armed forces, divided into three traditional weapons, and to paramilitary organizations. The outbreak of the war led the army to a division between the different factions. In 1972 all private schools were nationalized and the study of written Somali was introduced, later the principle of free school was established. A necessary condition for admission to elementary school, which lasts 8 years, is the Koranic education, given in the kindergartens, held by Muslim ministers of worship. These schools have a duration of 2 years and are located in all villages. L’ lower secondary education is given in middle school, which lasts 4 years. Subsequently you can access the secondary school, divided into two cycles of 4 years each, the master’s school, which lasts 3 years, or the technical institutes, which last 3 years. According to 2001 estimates, the percentage of illiterate people was 62.2%. According to andyeducation, higher education is given at Somali National University (1959), based in Mogadishu, and in some specialized institutes. Primary education is free and officially compulsory for all children aged 6 to 14. Secondary education begins at the age of 14 and ends at 18. A reorganization program of the school system was launched in June 1990, with particular emphasis on teacher training. L’ higher education is given at Somali National University (1959), based in Mogadishu, and in some specialized institutes. According to recent estimates, the percentage of illiterate people is 76%.

TERRITORY: ENVIRONMENT

The territory of Somalia is characterized by vast savannahs, mostly poor, where thorny shrubs, acacias and essential plants such as myrrh, frankincense, oricello grow., these products that once made the country famous. The most fertile area is the one to the S, crossed by the Giuba and Uebi Scebeli rivers, along whose banks the gallery forest develops. The fauna, abundant throughout the country, is typically African, in fact large mammals such as elephants, giraffes, leopards, lions and zebras live here, as well as numerous varieties of poisonous reptiles among which the most dangerous are cobras; while along the waterways you can meet crocodiles and hippos. Somalia is one of the poorest and underdeveloped countries on the African continent, and only a small part of the territory is arable. The intensive exploitation of pastures has aggravated the desertification process also caused by the long periods of drought. Regarding the protection of

ECONOMY: TRADE AND COMMUNICATIONS

Internal trade is of little importance, given the prevailing self-subsistence productive structure. The trade balance has a very heavy deficit (depending on the year, exports cover from a third to a half of imports); trade takes place above all with Saudi Arabia for exports, with the EU and in particular with Italy for imports. § The roads have been severely damaged by the war and it is difficult to offer an exhaustive picture of the road network. In 1999 it extended for 22,100 km of which only one eighth was asphalted. Often these are the old caravans partially adapted (there is still ample use of pack animals for transport). The Beledweyne (Belet Uen) -Burco (Burao) expressway was built with Chinese help and opened to traffic in 1978; the Burco- Berbera connection, completed in 1981, was instead financed by the United Arab Emirates. The main ports are Mogadishu, Kismaayo (Chisimaio), Marka (Merca) and Berbera; in addition to the international airport of Mogadishu, Somalia can count on others with less traffic.

Somalia Overview