Somalia is a nation in the Horn of Africa that is officially known as the Federal Republic of Somalia. It is bordered on the west by Ethiopia, on the northwest by Djibouti, on the north by the Gulf of Aden, on the east by the Indian Ocean, and on the southwest by Kenya. Somalia has the longest coastline on the continent of Africa.
The activities of pirates in Somalia almost disappeared in 2012. This happened after high-ranking officials of the UAE, having lost another oil tanker, decided that they were tired of it and hired a private military company to restore order on Somali lands. Within a year, mercenaries almost completely captured Puntland, one of the parts of this country, which was a stronghold of pirates.
Strictly speaking, a state like Somalia has existed only on maps since the early 90s of the last century. In fact, it has long since collapsed into several unrecognized states and self-governing regions, which, moreover, are often at odds with each other. Some of them claim statehood, such as Somaliland, which even has diplomatic missions in other countries.
The situation in Somalia is still very sad. According to various sources, only 15 to 20 percent of the population is literate, and almost half of Somalis live on less than $1 a day. Continuous wars destroy everything around, but no one is in a hurry to restore the ruins – there is neither money nor desire for this.
The level of danger is really off-scale here, especially for foreigners, whose appearance is immediately striking. But this is mainly relevant for cities, through which it is generally extremely dangerous to move without armed guards. However, a large part of the Somali population still leads a nomadic lifestyle, far from what is considered civilization here, so these Somalis have nothing to do with pirates and other thugs.
Nominally, there is still an official government here, but in practice, it controls only part of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and then only during daylight hours. Although about 98% of Mogadishu is ruins and slums, destroyed over decades of ongoing conflicts.
Mogadishu has a unique Baccarat market, the largest not only in Somalia but in East Africa as a whole. The range of goods sold on it is very curious – next to potatoes and live chickens, people sell assault rifles, cartridges, and grenade launchers.
However, weapons are everywhere, and on the street, it is easier to meet a person without shoes than without a Kalashnikov assault rifle. There is even such a name – “Kalash”, and this is not a joke. This is indeed a fairly popular name for Somali men, and it was formed precisely from the name of the most famous machine gun in the world.
People have been living in Somalia for 4,000-5,000 years, according to archaeologists. But life here has always been difficult – most of the country is a barren desert, and all rivers, except for the two largest, are filled with water only after heavy rains that occur several times a year.
The local population is very demanding in matters of religion. For example, smoking or drinking alcohol is considered unacceptable. It is, of course, present in Somalia, but by no means in public places – there, one can easily be arrested for such a violation. Or you can catch a bullet.
Other countries have also contributed to the impoverishment of the Somali population. Since nothing grows here, the Somalis have always had only two wealth – livestock and fish, which abound in the local shores. But this country never had a coast guard, so fishing vessels of other states were constantly poaching off the Somali coast.
They caught fish using the most barbaric methods, which led to a strong decrease in its population. The Somalis began to starve, leading to a spike in piracy and an extreme rise in crime. So extreme that at the turn of the millennium, Mogadishu was the only city on Earth where the UN could not provide humanitarian assistance due to excessive danger levels.