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Monday 27th March
Somalia Information - Page 1
Geography
Somalia, formerly the Somali Republic and the Somali Democratic Republic, is in Eastern Africa. It is bordered by Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

Mogadishu is the capital. Other cities include Beledweyne, Kismayo and Baidoa.

The terrain is mostly flat to undulating plateau, with hills in the north. Principal rivers are the Jubba and Shabelle.

Somalia is generally hot. The country suffers from droughts, and floods during the rainy season.

Environment
National Parks in Somalia are Hargeysa National Park in the north and Kismayu in the south-west.

Environmental problems include deforestation, soil erosion and desertification.

Architecture
Arabic and Italian architecture in the port city of Mogadishu has been badly damaged during years of civil war. (The port of Mogadishu opened for the first time in ten years in August 2006).

Population
The population of Somalia was estimated at 9,558,666 in 2008.

Languages
Somali is the official language. Other languages spoken are Arabic, Italian and English.

Religion
The people of Somalia are Sunni Muslims.

Food
Somali food varies according to region.

Porridges, made from millet and ground maize, are eaten. Noodles with sauce or rice with sauce and meat are popular. Italian food, such as pasta, is also available.

Meals are served with flat bread.

Vegetables and fruit include beans, cowpeas, onions, squash, tomatoes, bananas, dates, mangoes and papayas.

Tea and coffee are favourite drinks. Milk is a staple food for nomads who travel with the herds.

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