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Somalia Table of Contents



Somalia's telecommunications system was rudimentary. In 1991 a ground satellite station linked with the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization's (Intelsat) Indian Ocean satellite provided television, telephone, and data links with the rest of the world. A second ground satellite station, part of the satellite system for Arab nations (Arabsat), was under construction. It was not known in May 1992 whether any of these systems were operative. To improve the telecommunications system between Somalia and European and Persian Gulf countries, the European Development Fund in 1988 provided 5 million European currency units (ECU). Japan contributed a further US$83 million in 1988 for a telecommunications project to be completed in 1991; implementation was delayed, however, by the anarchy prevailing after the fall of Siad Barre.

Domestic communications were poor. The civil war in 1988 destroyed the Hargeysa radio station but the SNM in early 1992 continued to broadcast daily on a frequency modulation (FM) station near Hargeysa renamed the Voice of the Republic of Somaliland. Two factions of the United Somali Congress (USC) in early 1992 reportedly had radio transmitters in the south with regular transmissions. The entire country in 1990 had only 17,000 telephones, of which 14,000 were in the capital. In early 1992, however, the telephone system was virtually inoperative.