Somalia #OnThisDay

On 26th of June 1960 Somalia gained its independence from Britain.

Mogadishu in 1960 Somaliweyn, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Today conflict rages through this area, a country and region with an incredible history as an important economic centre for trade.

The heavy hand of European Imperialism carved up and merged diverse traditional tribal lands in the 19thC to make two colonies Italian Somaliland and the British Somaliland Protectorate.

ancient cave paintings Somaliweyn, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Europeans continued to use it for their Imperial ambitions as Fascist Italy attacked neighbouring Ethiopia in 1935. Condemned by the League of Nations, Italy ignored their hand wringing, and Ethiopia was brutally suppressed. Italy could now advance into British Somaliland. And so World War Two came to the region.

War and conflict have blighted this region as European powers bartered away the rights of the people living there ensuring the area remained in economic decline and unstable.

Political assassinations, military take overs and civil wars have left this once great region impoverished. Today Somalia has a population of 15 million with a life expectancy of 55.

Whole_world_-_land_and_oceans_12000.jpg: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Centerderivative work: Splette (talk)NASA – Visible Earth, images combined and scaled down by HighInBC (20 megabyte upload limit) NASA VIsible Earth, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A region once part of the trading network of the Silk Road, with a rich diversity of cultures, today is suffering food insecurity and the starvation of its people as the Russian invasion of Ukraine blocks off supplies to the area.

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