Country Listing

Somalia Table of Contents



Like its predecessor, this study is an attempt to treat in a concise and objective manner the dominant historical, social, political, economic, and military aspects of contemporary Somali society. Sources of information included scholarly journals and monographs, official reports of government and international organizations, newspapers, and numerous periodicals. Chapter bibliographies appear at the end of the book; brief comments on some of the more valuable sources suggested as possible further reading appear at the end of each chapter. Measurements are given in the metric system; a conversion table is provided to assist those readers who are unfamiliar with metric measurements (see table 1, Appendix). A glossary is also included.

Place-names generally have been spelled in accordance with those established by the United States Board on Geographic Names and the Permanent Committee on Geographic Names for British Official Use, known as the BGN/PCGN system. The spelling of other proper names conforms to the current usage in the country or to the most authoritative available sources.

Because Somalia has been in a state of virtual anarchy since the fall of the regime of Mahammad Siad Barre in January 1991 (and, actually, to a considerable degree since the outbreak of civil war in the latter 1980s), the lack of functioning government institutions has meant that statistics tend to be unreliable or nonexistent. Therefore, statistics cited in the text or tables in the appendix should be viewed with caution.

The arrival of United States military forces in Somalia as part of Operation Restore Hope in the latter part of 1992, together with forces from other United Nations member states, has resulted in detailed Western press coverage of Somalia. However, much background data continued to be lacking.

The body of the text reflects information available as of mid-1992. Certain other portions of the text, however, have been updated. The Introduction discusses significant events that have occurred since the completion of research, the Country Profile includes updated information as available, and the Bibliography includes recently published help feel to the reader.