Mogadishu known locally as Xamar , is the largest and capital city of Somalia.
A devastating civil war has ruined this once beautiful city for almost twenty years now, leaving little but ruins left. Since 1991, various Islamist and/or clan or warlord-affiliated militias have had control over different parts of the city. A few months of relief were given in 2006 when the Union of Islamic courts took full control. Somalia was however invaded by Ethiopia just six months later and re-instated the western-backed Transitional Federal Government. The hard-line Islamist group Al-Shabab gradually took control over Mogadishu until the government only controlled a few square blocks. A counter-offensive, supported by large amounts of African Union troops cleared the city of militants in August 2011. Bombings and shootings are still commonplace but open warfare have for now ceased. A major shortage of food and thousands of refugees puts enormous stress on the few governmental offices that are able to function.
The book Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden gives a detailed and a very accurate description of the lawlessness in Mogadishu during the early years of civil war.
Located in the coastal Banaadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries. As of 2015, it has a population of 2,120,000 residents.
As Somalia's capital city, many important national institutions are based in Mogadishu. It is the seat of the Federal Government of Somalia established in August 2012, with the Somalia Federal Parliament serving as the government's legislative branch. In May 2012, the First Somali Bank was established in the capital.
|TIME ZONE :||EAT (UTC+3)|
|LANGUAGE :||Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English|
|RELIGION :||Sunni Muslim|
|AREA :||91 km2 (35 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||02°02′N 45°21′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.80% |
• Female: 50.20%
|ETHNIC :||Somali 85%, Bantu and other non-Somali 15%|
|AREA CODE :||61|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+252 61|
A devastating civil war has ruined this once beautiful city for almost twenty years now, leaving little but ruins left.
Often regarded as being founded in the 10th century, the city is much older than that. Tradition and old records assert that southern Somalia, including the Mogadishu area, was inhabited in early historic times by hunter-gatherers of Khoisan descent.
The ancient city of Sarapion is believed to have been the predecessor state of Mogadishu. It is mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a Greek travel document dating from the first century CE, as one of a series of commercial ports on the Somali littoral.
By the time of the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta's appearance on the Somali coast in 1331, the city was at the zenith of its prosperity. He described Mogadishu as "an exceedingly large city" with many rich merchants, which was famous for the high quality fabric that it exported to destinations including Egypt.
By 1892, Mogadishu was under the joint control of the Somali Sultanate of the Geledi and the Omani Sultanate of Zanzibar. The Sultan of Zanzibar later leased and then sold the infrastructure that he had built to the Italians, but not the land itself, which was Somali owned.
In 1905, Italy made Mogadishu the capital of the newly established Italian Somaliland. The Italians subsequently referred to the city as Mogadiscio. After World War I, the surrounding territory came under Italian control with some resistance.
After WWII Mogadishu was made the capital of the Trust Territory of Somalia, an Italian administered fiduciary political entity under the ONU mandate, for ten years (1950–1960).
British Somaliland became independent on 26 June 1960 as the State of Somaliland, and the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) followed suit five days later.On 1 July 1960, the two territories united to form the Somali Republic, with Mogadishu serving as the nation's capital.
On 15 October 1969, while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod, Somalia's then President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was assassinated by one of his own bodyguards. His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d'état on 21 October 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the Somali Army seized power without encountering armed opposition — essentially a bloodless takeover. The putsch was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army.
By the late 1980s, Barre's regime had become increasingly unpopular. The authorities became ever more totalitarian, and resistance movements, encouraged by Ethiopia's communist Derg administration, sprang up across the country. This eventually led in 1991 to the outbreak of the civil war, the toppling of Barre's government, and the disbandment of the Somali National Army. Many of the opposition groups subsequently began competing for influence in the power vacuum that followed the ouster of Barre's regime. Armed factions led by United Somali Congress commanders General Mohamed Farah Aidid and Ali Mahdi Mohamed, in particular, clashed as each sought to exert authority over the capital.
For a city situated so near the equator, Mogadishu has a relatively dry climate. It is classified as hot and semi-arid.
The mean temperature in the city year round is 27 °C, with an average maximum of 30 °C and an average minimum of 24 °C.
Mean temperature readings per month vary by 3 °C (5.4 °F), corresponding with a hyperoceanic and subtype truly hyperoceanic continentality type.
The city has an average of 3,066 hours of sunshine per year, with 8.4 hours of sunlight per day.
Mogadishu is situated on the Indian Ocean coast of the Horn of Africa, in the Banaadir administrative region (gobol) in southeastern Somalia.
The region itself is coextensive with the city and is much smaller than the historical province of Benadir.
Features of the city include the Hamarwein old town, the Bakaara Market, and Gezira Beach. The sandy beaches of Mogadishu have vibrant coral reefs, and are prime real estate for the first tourist resorts in many years.
Mogadishu traditionally served as a commercial and financial centre. Before the importation of mass-produced cloth from Europe and America, the city's textiles were forwarded far and wide throughout the interior of the continent, as well as to the Arabian peninsula and as far as the Persian coast.
Mogadishu's economy has grown rapidly since the city's pacification in mid 2011. The SomalFruit processing factory was reopened, as was the local Coca Cola factory, which was also refurbished. In May 2012, the First Somali Bank was established in the capital, representing the first commercial bank to open in southern Somalia since 1991.
The city is administratively divided into the districts of Abdiaziz, Bondhere, Daynile, Dharkenley, Hamar-Jajab, Hamar-Weyne, Heliwa, Hodan, Howl-Wadag, Karan, Shangani, Shibis, Waberi, Wadajir, Wardhigley and Yaqshid.
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