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Somaliland became British and Italian colonies in the 1880's, although it was ruled solely by the British from 1941 to 1950. In 1960, Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland were united to form an independent Somalia.

Background Notes: Somalia
A useful potted history is included with these US Department of State Background Notes on Somalia. Also included is a range of political, economic, and geographical data, as well as information on its people, defense, and relations with the US.

Somalia - Library of Congress Country Studies
The Library of Congress Country Study for Somalia provides an excellent and fairly detailed history of the country. This information was originally compiled for the US Department of Army in case of potential deployment -- examining the historical, social, economic, and political background the country. (The only problem with this site is the awkwardness of navigating so many pages.)

Somalia History from Lonely Planet
A quirky, colloquial presentation of Somalia’s history presented by LonelyPlanet.com. Makes awfully good reading and may galvanize your interest in Africa’s regional history. Not only suitable reading for travelers.

Somalia - a Country Profile from the BBC
An extremely brief historical overview accompanies this BBC Country Profile of Somalia. Of particular interest are the simplified regional map (see where the country is in Africa), a photograph of Somalia’s current Chief of State, and details about the countries media.

Timeline for Somalia from the BBC
A chronology of important events in the history of Somalia given by year (and for more recent events by month also).

CIA World Fact Book: Somalia
A useful map and a range of geographical, political, and economic facts which are mostly up-to-date. Unfortunately this country profile lacks historical information (except for independence date), but the population statistics are probably the best available.

Somalia's Chief of State and Cabinet Ministers
Updated weekly, this list of Somalia's Chief of State and Cabinet Ministers is provided by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America.

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