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Somalia, officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic, is located on the Horn of Africa in East Africa. It is bordered by Djibouti to the northwest, Kenya on its southwest, the Gulf of Aden with Yemen on its north, the Indian Ocean at its east and Ethiopia to the west.
Somalia has been continuously inhabited by numerous and varied ethnic groups, some of Oromo or other cushitic ancestry, but the majority were Somalis, for the last 2,500 years. From the 1st century numerous ports like ancient Opone (now Hafun) and ancient Mosylon-Bandar Gori were trading with Roman and Greek sailors. The northwestern part of current Somalia was part of the Kingdom of Aksum from about the 3rd century to the 7th. By the early medieval period (700 AD–1200AD), Islam became firmly established especially with the founding of Mogadishu in 900AD. The late medieval period (1201AD-1500AD) saw the rise of numerous Somali city-states and kingdoms. In northwestern Somalia, the Sultanate of Adal (a multi-ethnic state comprised of Afars, Somalis and Hararis) with Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi as their leader in 1520AD, successfully led a campaign which saw three-quarters of Ethiopia coming under Adal rule before being defeated by a joint Ethiopian-Portuguese force at the Battle of Wayna Daga on February 21, 1543. The Ajuuraan Sultanate flourished in the 14th and 17th centuries. Following the collapse of Adal and Ajuuraan in the early and late 17th century, current day Somalia saw the growth and gradual rise of many successor city states such as the Sultanates of eastern Sanaag, of Bari, and of Hobyo. However due to competing Somali clans that lived in the region for thousands of years, until 1960, when Italy and Britain combined their Somali colonies into a single Somali state, Somalia was not a country. After the British and Italians drew boundaries and lines, and then after the independence of all previously self-governing Somali clans, it gradually became a new united nation of Somalia in the 1960s.
Sources: Wikipedia and CIA World Factbook
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