In 2015, the population of Somalia was estimated to be around 10.8 million people. The economy of Somalia was based on livestock, remittances, and telecommunications. It was heavily dependent on foreign aid from countries like the United States and the European Union. Politically, Somalia was a federal republic ruled by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud since 2012. In 2015, His Excellency Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke served as Prime Minister while His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamud served as President of the Federal Republic. The Parliament of Somalia was composed of two chambers: House of the People and Senate. In terms of defence, Somalia had strong military ties with Ethiopia which it joined in 2000 as part of its post-independence security policy. Somalia also maintained strong diplomatic relations with its neighboring countries in Africa as well as other countries around the world. See ehealthfacts for Somalia in the year of 2005.
Somalia. In July, the government and Parliament agreed that the elections scheduled for 2016 would not be possible. According to COUNTRYAAH, Mogadishu is the capital of Somalia which is located in Eastern Africa. This is because of the still poor security situation in the country. Indeed, the armed Islamist movement al-Shabab continued its actions. However, the most talked about attack was carried out in neighboring Kenya, where armed men stormed the university in the city of Garissa near the Somalia border. At least 148 people were killed and about 40 injured. The terrorists must have released Muslim students but shot people who were Christians. al-Shabab assumed responsibility for the attack and Kenya responded by bombing areas in southern Somalia where the movement has its bases. The Kenyan government also threatened to close Dabab, the huge refugee camp in northeastern Kenya where hundreds of thousands of Somalis live. Kenya also announced that the country has begun a 700 km long security barrier along the Somali border. Later, the Kenyan attitude towards Somali refugees softened, which instead of being displaced should be tempted to return to their homeland.
- Also see AbbreviationFinder.org for Somalia country abbreviations, including geography, history, economy and politics.
In January, Zakariya Ahmed Ismail Hersi, formerly one of the leaders of al-Shabab, called on other members of the movement to give up the fight. This is because, according to him, the militia was in a state of dissolution. Despite this claim, al-Shabab carried out a series of attacks in Somalia itself during the year. In February, some 20 people, including a Member of Parliament, were killed in a hotel in the capital Mogadishu. Among those injured were the country’s deputy prime minister. Several of the deceased were killed when they performed Friday prayers at the hotel’s mosque. In May, the Somali authorities banned the country’s media from using the name al-Shabab. Instead, they are called to call the movement UGUS, an acronym for what can be translated by “the group massacring the Somali people”.
In June, more than 70 soldiers were killed in AMISOM, the UN-approved force of the African Union (AU). Most of the soldiers in the attack were from Burundi. The day after the council, the buildings were taken back by AMISOM in collaboration with Somali government forces without any opposition. In July, the parties attacked al-Shabab in the Gedo and Bay regions with the aim of expelling the militia from southern Somalia. According to reports, the movement must have been forced to leave two of its fortifications, the cities of Baardheere in Gedo and Dinsor in Bay. In the same month, 18 people were killed and about 20 injured when a suicide bomber attacked a luxury hotel in Mogadishu. In August, more than 20 people were killed in two different suicide attacks, one in the capital and one in Kismayu, where young men lined up on the university campus,
In September, al-Shabaab recaptured territory from AMISOM as the AU force left the city of Buqda in the Hiran region. al-Shabab also took control of two smaller towns south of Mogadishu. At the beginning of the month, a large number of AMISOM soldiers were killed in an attack against a base. According to the Islamist group, at least 70 soldiers have lost their lives. In October, another hotel in Mogadishu was attacked and at least 15 people, including a general, lost their lives.
In March, the United States said it killed Adan Garar, one of the leaders of al-Shabab, who is suspected of being responsible for the terrorist attack against a mall in Kenya’s capital Nairobi in September 2013. Garar must have fallen victim to a drone attack. In November, the Somali Parliament decided that the Kenyan troops located in the country to fight al-Shabab would leave the country. The decision included reports that Kenyan soldiers were involved in smuggling charcoal and sugar from Somalia to Kenya. In addition, Somali politicians responded to the message that Kenya intended to build a barrier along the common borders of the countries.
In January, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud announced that Somali will henceforth be the only language used for official documents throughout Somalia. In February, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke succeeded in his second attempt to get his list of ministers. The first proposal was rejected by Parliament with the argument that too many of the ministers were also sitting in the former government, which was not considered to have done enough.
In August, more than 90 MEPs presented a motion demanding that the president be dismissed. The politicians accused the president of breaking the constitution, among other things. After a few months of deadlock on the issue, the exercise was withdrawn in October. In December, the government banned Christmas celebrations at the country’s hotels and other public places. Celebrating the Christian holiday is considered a threat to Islam. Foreigners, on the other hand, were free to celebrate Christmas in their homes.
In Somaliland, which unilaterally proclaimed independence, the Election Commission in May decided that the elections for Parliament and the presidential post should be postponed yet again, now to June 2016. Thereafter, the Elder Council voted to postpone the elections further, until April 2017. The opposition agreed with the assessment that The Election Commission needed more time, but felt that the elections should be held earlier than two years ahead.