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The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large
peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el ...

peninsula
of
East Africa East Africa, Eastern Africa, or East of Africa is the eastern sub-region A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subr ...
.Robert Stock, ''Africa South of the Sahara, Second Edition: A Geographical Interpretation'', (The Guilford Press; 2004), p. 26 Located on the easternmost part of the
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
n mainland, it is the fourth largest peninsula in the world. It lies along the southern boundary of the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northe ...

Red Sea
and extends hundreds of kilometres into the
Guardafui Channel The Guardafui Channel ( so, Marinka Gardafuul) is an oceanic strait off the tip of the Horn of Africa that lies between the Puntland region of Somalia and Socotra to the west of the Arabian Sea. It connects the Gulf of Aden to the north with the ...
,
Gulf of Aden The Gulf of Aden ( ar, خليج عدن, so, Gacanka Cadmeed 𐒅𐒖𐒐𐒕𐒌 𐒋𐒖𐒆𐒗𐒒) also known as the ''Gulf of Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Soma ...

Gulf of Aden
, and
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
.


Names

This peninsula has been known by various names.
Ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
and
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...

Romans
referred to it as Regio Aromatica or Regio Cinnamonifora due to the aromatic plants or as Regio Incognita owing to its uncharted territory. In ancient and medieval times, the Horn of Africa was referred to as the Bilad al Barbar ("Land of the Berbers").J. D. Fage, Roland Oliver, Roland Anthony Oliver, ''The Cambridge History of Africa'', (Cambridge University Press: 1977), p.190 It is also known as the ''Somali peninsula'' or, in the Somali language, ''Geeska Afrika'', ''Jasiiradda Soomaali'' or ''Gacandhulka Soomaali''. In other local languages, it is called "the Horn of Africa" or "the African Horn": in
Amharic Amharic ( or ; (Amharic: ), ', ) is an Ethiopian Semitic languages, Ethiopian Semitic language, which is a subgrouping within the Semitic languages, Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages. It is spoken as a first language by the Amhara pe ...

Amharic
የአፍሪካ ቀንድ ''yäafrika qänd'', in
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
القرن الأفريقي ''al-qarn al-'afrīqī'', in Oromo ''Gaaffaa Afriikaa'', and in
Tigrinya Tigrinya (ትግርኛ; also spelled Tigrigna) is a Semitic language spoken in Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in Eastern Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia in the south, Su ...
ቀርኒ ኣፍሪቃ ''q’ärnī afīrīqa''. The name Horn of Africa is sometimes shortened to ''HoA''. Quite commonly it is referred to simply as "the Horn", while inhabitants are sometimes colloquially termed ''Horn Africans''. Sometimes the term ''Greater Horn of Africa'' is used, either to be inclusive of neighbouring northeast African countries or to distinguish the broader geopolitical definition of the Horn of Africa from narrower peninsular definitions.


Description

The Horn of Africa consists of the internationally recognized countries of
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
,
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a ...

Eritrea
,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
, and
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
, as well as the
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
country of
Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Soomaaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd''), is a de facto sovereign s ...

Somaliland
.Sandra Fullerton Joireman, ''Institutional Change in the Horn of Africa'', (Universal-Publishers: 1997), p.1: "The Horn of Africa encompasses the countries of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia. These countries share similar peoples, languages, and geographical endowments."
George Wynn Brereton HuntingfordGeorge Wynn Brereton Huntingford (19 November 1901 – 19 February 1978) was an English linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken ...
, Agatharchides, ''The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: With Some Extracts from Agatharkhidēs "On the Erythraean Sea"'', (Hakluyt Society: 1980), p.83
John I. Saeed, ''Somali'' – Volume 10 of London Oriental and African language library, (J. Benjamins: 1999), p. 250. Regional studies on the Horn of Africa are carried out in fields such as Ethiopian studies and Somali studies. This peninsula has been known by various names.
Ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
and
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...

Romans
referred to it as Regio Aromatica or Regio Cinnamonifora due to the aromatic plants or as Regio Incognita owing to its uncharted territory. The name Horn of Africa is sometimes shortened to ''HoA''. Quite commonly it is referred to simply as "the Horn", while inhabitants are sometimes colloquially termed ''Horn Africans''. Sometimes the term ''Greater Horn of Africa'' is used, either to be inclusive of neighbouring northeast African countries or to distinguish the broader geopolitical definition of the Horn of Africa from narrower peninsular definitions.


History


Prehistory

According to the
Southern Dispersal In the context of the recent African origin of modern humans, the Southern Dispersal scenario (also the coastal migration or great coastal migration hypothesis) refers to the early human migrations, early migration along the southern coast of Asi ...
scenario, the Southern route of the Out of Africa migration occurred in the Horn of Africa through the
Bab el Mandeb The Bab-el-Mandeb (Arabic language, Arabic: ,  'Gate of Tears') is a strait between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. It connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. Name The strait derives ...
. Today at the Bab-el-Mandeb straits, the Red Sea is about 12 miles (20 kilometres) wide, but 50,000 years ago it was much narrower and sea levels were 70 meters lower. Though the straits were never completely closed, there may have been islands in between which could be reached using simple rafts. Shell
midden A midden (also kitchen midden or shell heap) is an old dump for domestic waste which may consist of animal bone A bone is a Stiffness, rigid tissue (anatomy), tissue that constitutes part of the skeleton in most vertebrate animals. Bones ...
s 125,000 years old have been found in Eritrea, indicating the diet of early humans included seafood obtained by
beachcombing Beachcombing is an activity that consists of an individual "combing" (or searching) the beach and the intertidal zone The intertidal zone, also known as the foreshore or seashore, is the area above water level Water level, also known as ...
. The findings of the Earliest Stone Tipped Projectiles from the Ethiopian Rift dated to more than 279,000 years ago in combination with the existing archaeological, fossil and genetic evidence, isolate this region as a source of modern cultures and biology, and it is considered the place of origin for humankind. Ethiopian and Eritrean
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
established the earliest known use of the seed grass
teff ''Eragrostis tef'', also known as teff, Williams lovegrass or annual bunch grass, is an annual Annual may refer to: *Annual publication, periodical publications appearing regularly once per year **Yearbook **Literary annual *Annual plant *Annual ...
(''Poa abyssinica'') between 4000 and 1000 BCE. Teff is used to make the flatbread
injera Injera (Amharic: , , ; om, Biddeena; Tigrinya language, Tigrinya: ጣይታ, ''Tai’ta'') is a sourdough, sour Fermentation, fermented flatbread with a slightly spongy texture, traditionally made of teff flour. In Ethiopia, Eritrea, and some p ...

injera
/taita.
Coffee Coffee is a drink prepared from roasted s, the seeds of from certain s in the ' genus. From the coffee fruit, the seeds are separated to produce a stable, raw product: unroasted ''green coffee''. The seeds are then , a process which transfo ...

Coffee
also originated in Ethiopia and has since spread to become a worldwide beverage.


Ancient history

The area comprising
Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Soomaaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd''), is a de facto sovereign s ...

Somaliland
,
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
, the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northe ...

Red Sea
coast of
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a ...

Eritrea
and
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
is considered the most likely location of the land known to the ancient
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning t ...
as ''
Punt Punt or punting may refer to: Boats *Punt (boat), a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow developed on the River Thames *Falmouth Quay Punt, a small sailing vessel hired by ships anchored in Falmouth harbour *Norfolk Punt, a type of racing ding ...
'' (or "Ta Netjeru," meaning god's land), whose first mention dates to the 25th century BC.
Dʿmt D mt ( Ge'ez: ደዐመተ, ''DʿMT'' theoretically vocalized as ዳዓማት, ''Daʿamat'' or ዳዕማት, Daʿəmat) was a kingdom located in Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in Eastern Africa, with ...
was a kingdom located in Eritrea and northern
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
, which existed during the 8th and 7th centuries BC. With its capital probably at
Yeha Yeha ( gez, ይሐ ''yiḥa'', older South Arabian alphabet, ESA 𐩥𐩢 Image:Himjar wa.PNG, 12px ''ḤW''; Ancient South Arabian script, Old South Arabian: 𐩺𐩢𐩱 ''Yḥʾ'') is a town in the Maekelay Zone of the northern Tigray Region in E ...

Yeha
, the kingdom developed
irrigation Irrigation is the agricultural Agriculture is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in seden ...

irrigation
schemes, used
plow A plough or plow ( US; both ) is a farm tool for loosening or turning the soil before sowing seed or planting. Ploughs were traditionally drawn by oxen and horses, but in modern farms are drawn by tractors. A plough may have a wooden, iron or ...

plow
s, grew
millet Millets () are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in Indi ...

millet
, and made
iron Iron () is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...

iron
tools and weapons. After the fall of Dʿmt in the 5th century BC, the plateau came to be dominated by smaller successor kingdoms, until the rise of one of these kingdoms during the 1st century, the , which was able to reunite the area. The
Kingdom of Aksum The Kingdom of Aksum ( gez, መንግሥተ አኵስም), also known as the Kingdom of Axum or the Aksumite Empire, was an ancient kingdom, from the 2nd to the 10th century, with its capital at the city of Axum Aksum or Axum (; ti, ኣኽሱ ...

Kingdom of Aksum
(also known as the Aksumite Empire) was an ancient state located in the
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a ...

Eritrea
and
Ethiopian highlands The Ethiopian Highlands is a rugged mass of mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit are ...
, which thrived between the 1st and 7th centuries AD. A major player in the commerce between the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
and
Ancient India According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Quote: "Y-Chromosome and Mt-DNA data support the colonization of South Asia by mod ...

Ancient India
, Aksum's rulers facilitated trade by minting their own
currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services ...
. The state also established its
hegemony Hegemony (, , ) is the political, economic, and military predominance of one state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (ne ...
over the declining
Kingdom of Kush The Kingdom of Kush (; : 𓎡𓄿𓈙 ''kꜣš'', : ''Ku-u-si'', in grc, Κυς and Κυσι; cop, ; he, כּוּשׁ) was an ancient kingdom in , centered along the in what is now northern and southern . The region of Nubia was an ea ...
and regularly entered the politics of the kingdoms on the
Arabian peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
, eventually extending its rule over the region with the conquest of the
Himyarite Kingdom The Himyarite Kingdom ( ar, مملكة حِمْيَر, Mamlakat Ḥimyar, he, ממלכת חִמְיָר), or Himyar ( ar, حِمْيَر, ''Ḥimyar'', xsa, 𐩢𐩣𐩺𐩧𐩣, Ḥmyrm) (floruit, fl. 110 BCE–520s Common Era, CE), historic ...

Himyarite Kingdom
. Under
Ezana Ezana ( gez, ዒዛና ''‘Ezana'', unvocalized ዐዘነ ''‘zn''; also spelled Aezana or Aizan) was ruler of the Kingdom of Axum The Kingdom of Aksum ( gez, መንግሥተ አክሱም), also known as the Kingdom of Axum or the Aksumite E ...

Ezana
(fl. 320–360), the kingdom of Aksum became the first major empire to adopt
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
, and was named by Mani as one of the four great powers of his time, along with
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Tu ...
,
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
and
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
. Somalia was an important link in the Horn, connecting the region's commerce with the rest of the ancient world. Somali sailors and merchants were the main suppliers of
frankincense Frankincense (also known as olibanum) is an aromatic forms of benzene (top) combine to produce an average structure (bottom) In chemistry, aromaticity is a property of cyclic compound, cyclic (ring (chemistry), ring-shaped), plane (geometry), p ...
,
myrrh Myrrh (; from Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religion ...
and spices, all of which were valuable luxuries to the
Ancient Egyptians Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to descri ...
,
Phoenicians Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0 ...

Phoenicians
, Mycenaeans,
Babylonians Babylonia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – ...
and
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...

Romans
. The Romans consequently began to refer to the region as ''Regio Aromatica''. In the
classical era Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
, several flourishing Somali city-states such as
Opone Opone ( grc, Οπώνη) was an ancient proto-Somali city situated in the Horn of Africa. It is primarily known for its trade with the Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Rome, Romans, Greeks, Persian Empire, Persians, and the states of History of India, an ...
,
Mosylon Mosylon ( grc, Μοσυλλόν), also known as Mosullon, was an ancient proto-Somali trading center on or near the site that later became the city of Bosaso. History Mosylon was the most prominent Emporia (ancient Greece), emporium on the Red Sea ...
and
Malao Malao ( grc, Μαλαὼ) was an ancient proto-SomaliProto-Somalis were the ancient people and ancestors of Somalis Somalis ( so, Soomaalida) are an Cushitic peoples, East Cushitic ethnic group native to the Horn of Africa who share a common a ...
also competed with the Sabaeans,
Parthia Parthia ( peo, 𐎱𐎼𐎰𐎺 ''Parθava''; xpr, 𐭐𐭓𐭕𐭅 ''Parθaw''; pal, 𐭯𐭫𐭮𐭥𐭡𐭥 ''Pahlaw'') is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and offici ...

Parthia
ns and Axumites for the rich -
Greco-Roman The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the Commonwealth), as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to geographical regions and countries that culturally—and so historically—were ...
trade. The birth of Islam opposite the Horn's Red Sea coast meant that local merchants and sailors living on the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
gradually came under the influence of the new religion through their converted
Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, : , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an mainly inhabiting the . In modern usage the term refers to those who originate from an Arab co ...

Arab
Muslim trading partners. With the migration of Muslim families from the
Islamic world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodne ...
to the Horn in the early centuries of Islam, and the peaceful conversion of the local population by Muslim scholars in the following centuries, the ancient city-states eventually transformed into Islamic
Mogadishu Mogadishu (, also ; so, Muqdisho or Xamar ; ar, مقديشو, Muqadīshū ; it, Mogadiscio ), locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital city and most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city ...

Mogadishu
,
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
,
Zeila Zeila ( so, Saylac, ar, زيلع, Zayla), also known as Zaila or Zayla, is a historical port town in the western Awdal Awdal ( so, Awdal, ar, أودَل) is a region in Somaliland. It was separated from Woqooyi Galbeed and became a province i ...
,
Barawa Barawa ( so, Baraawe, ar, مدينة ﺑﺮﺍﻭة ''Madīna Barāwa''), also known as Barawe and Brava, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the lette ...

Barawa
and
Merka Merca ( so, Marka, Maay: ''Marky'', ar, مركة) is a historic port city in the southern Lower Shebelle Lower Shabelle ( so, Shabeellaha Hoose, ar, شبيلي السفلى, it, Basso Scebeli) is an administrative region (''Administrative div ...
, which were part of the '' Barbara civilization''.David D. Laitin, Said S. Samatar, ''Somalia: Nation in Search of a State'', (Westview Press: 1987), p. 15. The city of Mogadishu came to be known as the "City of Islam" and controlled the East African gold trade for several centuries.


Middle Ages and Early Modern era

During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, several powerful empires dominated the regional trade in the Horn, including the
Adal Sultanate The Adal Sultanate, or Kingdom of Adal or Awdal or Bar Sa'ad ad-din (alt. spelling ''Adel Sultanate'' , ''Awdal Sultanate''), was a Muslim Somalis, Somali kingdom and sultanate located in the Horn of Africa. It was founded by Sabr ad-Din II af ...

Adal Sultanate
, the
Ajuran Sultanate The Ajuran Empire ( so, Saldanadda Ajuuraan, ar, سلطنة الأجورانية), also spelled Ajuuraan Empire, and often simply as Ajuran, was a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ...
, the
Zagwe dynasty The Zagwe dynasty (Ge'ez: ዛጔ ሥርወ መንግሥት) was an Agaw The Agaw ( gez, አገው ''Agäw'', modern ''Agew'') are a Cushitic peoples, Cushitic ethnic group inhabiting Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea. Ethnically and culturally th ...
, and the
Sultanate of the Geledi The Sultanate of the Geledi ( so, Saldanadda Geledi, ar, سلطنة غلدي) also known as the Gobroon Dynasty Somali Sultanate: The Geledi City-state Over 150 Years - Virginia Luling (2002) Page 229 was a Somali Somali refers to an East African ...
. The
Sultanate of Showa The Sultanate of Showa (Sultanate of Shewa) also known as Makhzumi dynasty was a Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God) is an Abrahamic r ...

Sultanate of Showa
, established in 896, was one of the oldest local
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
ic states. It was centered in the former
Shewa Shewa ( am, ሸዋ; om, Shawaa), formerly romanized as Shua, Shoa, Showa, Shuwa (''Scioà'' in Italian language, Italian), is a historical region of Ethiopia, formerly an autonomous monarchy, kingdom within the Ethiopian Empire. The modern Eth ...
province in central Ethiopia. The polity was succeeded by the
Sultanate of Ifat The Sultanate of Ifat, or Awfat was a medieval Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) ...

Sultanate of Ifat
around 1285. Ifat was governed from its capital at
Zeila Zeila ( so, Saylac, ar, زيلع, Zayla), also known as Zaila or Zayla, is a historical port town in the western Awdal Awdal ( so, Awdal, ar, أودَل) is a region in Somaliland. It was separated from Woqooyi Galbeed and became a province i ...
in Somaliland and was the easternmost district of the former Shewa Sultanate. The
Adal Sultanate The Adal Sultanate, or Kingdom of Adal or Awdal or Bar Sa'ad ad-din (alt. spelling ''Adel Sultanate'' , ''Awdal Sultanate''), was a Muslim Somalis, Somali kingdom and sultanate located in the Horn of Africa. It was founded by Sabr ad-Din II af ...

Adal Sultanate
was a medieval multi-ethnic
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
state centered in the Horn region. At its height, it controlled large parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. Many of the historic cities in the region, such as
Amud Amud or Amoud ( so, Camuud, ar, عمود) is an ancient, ruined town in the Awdal region of Somaliland.Damtew Teferra, ''African higher education: an international reference handbook'', (Indiana University Press: 2003) Named after its patron Sai ...
,
Maduna Maduna ( so, Maduuna) is a medieval town in western region of . History It is situated 90 km southward of . The city is said to date from the Golden Age of the medieval , which was in the 15th and 16th centuries. Maduna features many old stru ...
,
Abasa ʻAbasa ( ar, عبس, "He Frowned") is the 80th chapter (''sura A ''surah'' (; ar, سورة, sūrah) is the equivalent of "chapter" in the Quran, Qur'an. There are 114 ''surahs'' in the Quran, each divided into ''ayah, ayats'' (verses). T ...
,
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
,
Zeila Zeila ( so, Saylac, ar, زيلع, Zayla), also known as Zaila or Zayla, is a historical port town in the western Awdal Awdal ( so, Awdal, ar, أودَل) is a region in Somaliland. It was separated from Woqooyi Galbeed and became a province i ...
and
Harar Harar ( amh, ሐረር; Gē "the City", om, Harar, ar, هرر) is a walled city in eastern Ethiopia. It is known in Arabic as the City of Wali, Saints ( ar, مدينة الأَوْلِيَاء). Harar is the capital of the East Hararghe Zone ...

Harar
, flourished during the kingdom's golden age. This period that left behind numerous ,
mosque A mosque (; from ar, مَسْجِد, masjid, ; literally "place of ritual prostration"), also called masjid, is a place of worship for Muslims. Any act of worship that follows the Salah, Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, w ...

mosque
s,
shrine A shrine ( la, scrinium "case or chest for books or papers"; Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern lan ...

shrine
s and . Under the leadership of rulers such as
Sabr ad-Din II Sabr ad-Din III ( ar, الصبر الدين الثاني) (died 1422 or 1423) was a Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority ...
, Mansur ad-Din, Jamal ad-Din II, Shams ad-Din, General
Mahfuz Mahfuz (or Mohammed) ( Harari: ማሕፉዝ, ar, محفوظ; died July 1517) was a Harari Garad, Emir of Harar Harar ( amh, ሐረር; Gē "the City", om, Harar, ar, هرر) is a walled city in eastern Ethiopia. It is known in Arabic as t ...
and
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi ( so, Axmed Ibraahim al-Qaasi or Ahmed Gurey, Harari: አህመድ ኢብራሂም አል-ጋዚ, ar, أحمد بن إبراهيم الغازي ; c. 1506 – 21 February 1543) was a Somali Imam Imam (; ar, إ ...
, Adalite armies continued the struggle against the
Solomonic dynasty The Solomonic dynasty, also known as the House of Solomon, was a dynasty of the Ethiopian Empire formed in the thirteenth century. Its members claim lineal descent from the biblical Solomon, King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Tradition assert ...
, a campaign historically known as the Conquest of Abyssinia or ''Futuh al Habash''. Through a strong centralized administration and an aggressive military stance towards invaders, the
Ajuran Sultanate The Ajuran Empire ( so, Saldanadda Ajuuraan, ar, سلطنة الأجورانية), also spelled Ajuuraan Empire, and often simply as Ajuran, was a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ...
successfully resisted an invasion from the west and a
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
incursion from the east during the Gaal Madow and the Ajuran-Portuguese wars. Trading routes dating from the ancient and early medieval periods of Somali maritime enterprise were also strengthened or re-established, and the state left behind an extensive architectural legacy. Many of the hundreds of ruined castles and fortresses that dot the landscape of Somalia today are attributed to Ajuran engineers, including a lot of the
pillar tomb A pillar tomb is a type of monumental grave A grave is a location where a dead body A cadaver or corpse is a dead human body that is used by medical students A medical school is a tertiary educational institution, or part of such an i ...
fields,
necropolis A necropolis (plural necropolises, necropoles, necropoleis, necropoli) is a large, designed cemetery A cemetery, burial ground or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are burial, buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cem ...

necropolis
es and ruined cities built during that era. The royal family, the House of Gareen, also expanded its territories and established its hegemonic rule through a skillful combination of warfare, trade linkages and alliances. The
Zagwe dynasty The Zagwe dynasty (Ge'ez: ዛጔ ሥርወ መንግሥት) was an Agaw The Agaw ( gez, አገው ''Agäw'', modern ''Agew'') are a Cushitic peoples, Cushitic ethnic group inhabiting Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea. Ethnically and culturally th ...
ruled many parts of modern Ethiopia and Eritrea from approximately 1137 to 1270. The name of the dynasty comes from the
Cushitic The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They are spoken primarily in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA) om, Gaafa Afrikaa, am, የአፍሪካ ቀንድ, yäafrika qänd, so, Geeska Afrika 𐒌𐒜 ...

Cushitic
-speaking
Agaw people The Agaw ( gez, አገው ''Agäw'', modern ''Agew'') are a Cushitic ethnic group inhabiting Ethiopia Ethiopia (; am, ኢትዮጵያ, , aa, Itiyoophiyaa, gez, ኢትዮጵያ, om , Itoophiyaa, so, Itoobiya, ti , ኢትዮጵያ), o ...
of northern Ethiopia. From 1270 onwards for many centuries, the
Solomonic dynasty The Solomonic dynasty, also known as the House of Solomon, was a dynasty of the Ethiopian Empire formed in the thirteenth century. Its members claim lineal descent from the biblical Solomon, King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Tradition assert ...
ruled the
Ethiopian Empire The Ethiopian Empire (), also formerly known by the Abyssinia (derived from the Arabic '), or just simply known as Ethiopia (; and : ኢትዮጵያ , , : Itoophiyaa, : Itoobiya, : ''Itiyoophiyaa''), was an that historically spanned the g ...
. In the early 15th century, Ethiopia sought to make diplomatic contact with European kingdoms for the first time since Aksumite times. A letter from King
Henry IV of England Henry IV (April 1367 – 20 March 1413) or Henry Bolingbroke was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of ...

Henry IV of England
to the Emperor of Abyssinia survives. In 1428, the Emperor Yeshaq sent two emissaries to
Alfonso V of Aragon Alfonso the Magnanimous (also Alphonso; ca, Alfons; 1396 – 27 June 1458) was the King of Aragon (as Alfonso V), Valencia Valencia (), officially València ( ), is the capital of the Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous communi ...
, who sent return emissaries who failed to complete the return trip. Beshah & Aregay (1964), pp. 13–14. The first continuous relations with a European country began in 1508 with Portugal under Emperor Dawit II of Ethiopia, Lebna Dengel, who had just inherited the throne from his father. This proved to be an important development, for when Abyssinia was subjected to the attacks of the
Adal Sultanate The Adal Sultanate, or Kingdom of Adal or Awdal or Bar Sa'ad ad-din (alt. spelling ''Adel Sultanate'' , ''Awdal Sultanate''), was a Muslim Somalis, Somali kingdom and sultanate located in the Horn of Africa. It was founded by Sabr ad-Din II af ...

Adal Sultanate
General and Imam
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi ( so, Axmed Ibraahim al-Qaasi or Ahmed Gurey, Harari: አህመድ ኢብራሂም አል-ጋዚ, ar, أحمد بن إبراهيم الغازي ; c. 1506 – 21 February 1543) was a Somali Imam Imam (; ar, إ ...
(called "''Gurey''" or "''Grañ''", both meaning "the Left-handed"), Portugal assisted the Ethiopian emperor by sending weapons and four hundred men, who helped his son Gelawdewos of Ethiopia, Gelawdewos defeat Ahmad and re-establish his rule. This Abyssinian–Adal War was also one of the first proxy wars in the region as the Ottoman Empire, and Portugal took sides in the conflict. When Emperor Susenyos of Ethiopia, Susenyos converted to Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholicism in 1624, years of revolt and civil unrest followed resulting in thousands of deaths. The Society of Jesus, Jesuit missionaries had offended the Orthodox faith of the local Ethiopians. On 25 June 1632, Susenyos's son, Emperor Fasilides of Ethiopia, Fasilides, declared the state religion to again be Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, and expelled the Jesuit missionaries and other Europeans. During the end of 18th and the beginning of 19th century the Yejju dynasty (more specifically, the Warasek) ruled north Ethiopia changing the official language of Amhara people to Afaan Oromo, including inside the court of Gondar which was capital of the empire. Founded by Ali I of Yejju several successive descendants of him and Abba Seru Gwangul ruled with their army coming from mainly their clan the Yejju Oromo tribe as well as Wollo and Raya Oromo. The
Sultanate of the Geledi The Sultanate of the Geledi ( so, Saldanadda Geledi, ar, سلطنة غلدي) also known as the Gobroon Dynasty Somali Sultanate: The Geledi City-state Over 150 Years - Virginia Luling (2002) Page 229 was a Somali Somali refers to an East African ...
was a Somali kingdom administered by the Gobroon dynasty, which ruled parts of the Horn of Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was established by the Ajuran soldier Ibrahim Adeer, who had defeated various vassals of the Ajuran Empire and established the ''House of Gobroon''. The dynasty reached its apex under the successive reigns of Sultan Yusuf Mahamud Ibrahim, who successfully consolidated Gobroon power during the Bardera, Bardera wars, and Sultan Ahmed Yusuf (Gobroon), Ahmed Yusuf, who forced regional powers such as the Oman, Omani Empire to submit tribute. The Isaaq Sultanate was a Somali people, Somali kingdom that ruled parts of the Horn of Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. It spanned the territories of the Isaaq clan, descendants of the Banu Hashim clan,I. M. Lewis, ''A pastoral democracy: a study of pastoralism and politics among the Northern Somali of the Horn of Africa'', (LIT Verlag Münster: 1999), p. 157. in modern-day
Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Soomaaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd''), is a de facto sovereign s ...

Somaliland
and
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
. The sultanate was governed by the Rer Guled branch established by the first sultan, Sultan Guled Abdi (Sultan), Guled Abdi, of the Eidagale clan. The sultanate is the pre-colonial predecessor to the modern Somaliland, Republic of Somaliland. According to oral tradition, prior to the Guled dynasty the Isaaq clan-family were ruled by a dynasty of the Tolje'lo branch starting from, descendants of Ahmed nicknamed Tol Je'lo, the eldest son of Ishaaq bin Ahmed, Sheikh Ishaaq's Harari people, Harari wife. There were eight Tolje'lo rulers in total, starting with Boqor Harun () who ruled the Isaaq Sultanate for centuries starting from the 13th century. The last Tolje'lo ruler Garad Dhuh Barar ( so, Dhuux Baraar) was overthrown by a coalition of Isaaq clans. The once strong Tolje'lo clan were scattered and took refuge amongst the Habr Awal with whom they still mostly live. The Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia) was another prominent Somali sultanate based in the Horn region. Ruled by Boqor, King Osman Mahamuud during its golden age, it controlled much of northeastern and central Somalia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The polity had all of the organs of an integrated modern state and maintained a robust trading network. It also entered into treaties with foreign powers and exerted strong centralized authority on the domestic front.''Horn of Africa'', Volume 15, Issues 1–4, (Horn of Africa Journal: 1997), p.130.Michigan State University. African Studies Center, Northeast African studies, Volumes 11–12, (Michigan State University Press: 1989), p.32. Much of the Sultanate's former domain is today coextensive with the autonomous Puntland region in northern Somalia.Istituto italo-africano, ''Africa: rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione'', Volume 56, (Edizioni africane: 2001), p.591. The Sultanate of Hobyo was a 19th-century Somali kingdom founded by Sultan Yusuf Ali Kenadid. Initially, Kenadid's goal was to seize control of the neighboring Majeerteen Sultanate, which was then ruled by his cousin Boqor Osman Mahamuud. However, he was unsuccessful in this endeavor, and was eventually forced into exile in Yemen. A decade later, in the 1870s, Kenadid returned from the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
with a band of Hadhramaut, Hadhrami musketeers and a group of devoted lieutenants. With their assistance, he managed to establish the kingdom of Hobyo, which would rule much of northern and central Somalia during the early modern period.Helen Chapin Metz, ''Somalia: a country study'', (The Division: 1993), p.10.


Modern history

In the period following the opening of the Suez canal in 1869, when European powers scrambled for territory in Africa and tried to establish coaling stations for their ships, Italy invaded and occupied
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a ...

Eritrea
. On 1 January 1890, Eritrea officially became a colony of Italy. In 1896 further Italian incursion into the horn was decisively halted by Ethiopian forces. By 1936 however, Eritrea became a province of Italian East Africa (Africa Orientale Italiana), along with
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
and Italian Somaliland. By 1941, Eritrea had about 760,000 inhabitants, including 70,000 Italians. The Commonwealth armed forces, along with the Ethiopian patriotic resistance, expelled those of Italy in 1941, and took over the area's administration. The British continued to administer the territory under a UN Mandate until 1951, when Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia, per UN resolution 390 A (V) adopted December 1950 The strategic importance of Eritrea, due to its
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northe ...

Red Sea
coastline and mineral resources, was the main cause for the federation with Ethiopia, which in turn led to Eritrea's annexation as Ethiopia's 14th province Federation_of_Ethiopia_and_Eritrea#Aftermath, in 1962. This was the culmination of a gradual process of takeover by the Ethiopian authorities, a process which included a 1959 edict establishing the compulsory teaching of
Amharic Amharic ( or ; (Amharic: ), ', ) is an Ethiopian Semitic languages, Ethiopian Semitic language, which is a subgrouping within the Semitic languages, Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages. It is spoken as a first language by the Amhara pe ...

Amharic
, the main language of Ethiopia, in all Eritrean schools. The lack of regard for the Eritrean population led to the formation of an independence movement in the early 1960s (1961), which erupted into a Eritrean War of Independence, 30-year war against successive Ethiopian governments that ended in 1991. Following a UN-supervised Eritrean independence referendum, 1993, referendum in Eritrea (dubbed UNOVER) in which the Eritrean people overwhelmingly voted for independence, Eritrea declared its independence and gained international recognition in 1993. In 1998, a border dispute with Ethiopia led to the Eritrean-Ethiopian War. From 1862 until 1894, the land to the north of the Gulf of Tadjoura situated in modern-day
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
was called ''Obock'' and was ruled by Somali people, Somali and Afar people, Afar Sultans, local authorities with whom France signed various treaties between 1883 and 1887 to first gain a foothold in the region.Raph Uwechue, ''Africa year book and who's who'', (Africa Journal Ltd.: 1977), p.209.''A Political Chronology of Africa'', (Taylor & Francis), p.132. In 1894, Léonce Lagarde established a permanent French administration in the Djibouti (city), city of Djibouti and named the region ''Côte française des Somalis'' (French Somaliland), a name which continued until 1967. In 1958, on the eve of neighboring
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
's independence in 1960, a referendum was held in the territory to decide whether to join the Somali Republic or to remain with France. The referendum favoured continued association with France, partly due to a combined yes vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans.Barrington, Lowell, ''After Independence: Making and Protecting the Nation in Postcolonial and Postcommunist States'', (University of Michigan Press: 2006), p.115 There was also reports of widespread vote rigging, with the French expelling thousands of Somalis before the polls. The majority of those who voted no were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia, as had been proposed by Mahmoud Harbi, Vice President of the Government Council. Harbi was killed in a plane crash two years later. Djibouti finally gained its independence from France in 1977. Hassan Gouled Aptidon, a Somali politician who had campaigned for a yes vote in the referendum of 1958, became the nation's first president (1977–1999). In early 2011, the Djiboutian citizenry took part in a 2011 Djiboutian protests, series of protests against the long-serving government, which were associated with the larger Arab Spring demonstrations. The unrest eventually subsided by April of the year, and Djibouti's ruling People's Rally for Progress party was re-elected to office. The Dervish movement (Somali), Dervish movement existed for 25 years, from 1895 until 1920. The Turkish people, Turks named Hassan Emir of the Somali nation, and the German people, Germans promised to officially recognize any territories the Dervishes were to acquire. After a quarter of a century of holding the British at bay, the Dervishes were finally defeated in 1920 as a direct consequence of Britain's new policy of Airstrike, aerial bombardment. As a result of this bombardment, former Dervish territories were turned into a protectorate of Britain. Italy faced similar opposition from Somali Sultans and armies, and did not acquire full control of modern Somalia until the Fascist, Fascist era in late 1927. This occupation lasted until 1941, and was replaced by a United Kingdom, British military administration. Somaliland would remain a protectorate, while Somalia became a United Nations Trusteeship, trusteeship. The Union of the two countries in 1960 formed the Somali Republic. A civilian government was formed, and on 20 July 1961, through a popular referendum, the constitution drafted in 1960 was ratified. Due to its longstanding ties with the Arab world, the Somali Republic was accepted in 1974 as a member of the Arab League.Benjamin Frankel, ''The Cold War, 1945–1991: Leaders and other important figures in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and the Third World'', (Gale Research: 1992), p.306. During the same year, the nation's former Socialism, socialist administration also chaired the Organization of African Unity, the predecessor of the African Union.Oihe Yang, ''Africa South of the Sahara 2001'', 30th Ed., (Taylor and Francis: 2000), p.1025. In 1991, the Somali Civil War broke out, which saw the dissolving of the union and Somaliland regaining its independence, along with the collapse of the central government and the emergence of numerous autonomous polities, including the Puntland administration in the north. in the northwest. Somalia's inhabitants subsequently reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, either Civil law (legal system), secular, religious law, Islamic or customary law, with a provision for appeal of all sentences. A Transitional Federal Government was subsequently created in 2004. The Federal Government of Somalia was established on 20 August 2012, concurrent with the end of the TFG's interim mandate. It represents the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the civil war. The Federal Parliament of Somalia serves as the government's Legislature, legislative branch. Modern Ethiopia and its current borders are a result of significant territorial reduction in the north and expansion in the east and south toward its present borders, owing to several migrations, commercial integration, treaties as well as conquests, particularly by Menelik II of Ethiopia, Emperor Menelik II and Ras Gobena.John Young. "Regionalism and Democracy in Ethiopia" Third World Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 2 (June 1998) pp. 192 From the central province of Shoa, Menelik set off to subjugate and incorporate ‘the lands and people of the South, East and West into an empire.’ He did this with the help of Ras Gobena's Shewan Oromo militia, began expanding his kingdom to the south and east, expanding into areas that had not been held since the invasion of Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi, and other areas that had never been under his rule, resulting in the borders of Ethiopia of today. Menelik had signed the Treaty of Wichale with Italy in May 1889, in which Italy would recognize Ethiopia's sovereignty so long as Italy could control a small area of northern Tigray (part of modern Eritrea). In return, Italy was to provide Menelik with arms and support him as emperor.#Negash, Negash (2005), p. 14. The Italians used the time between the signing of the treaty and its ratification by the Italian government to further expand their territorial claims. Italy began a state funded program of resettlement for landless Italians in Eritrea, which increased tensions between the Eritrean peasants and the Italians. This conflict erupted in the Battle of Adwa on 1 March 1896, in which Italy's colonial forces were defeated by the Ethiopians. The early 20th century in Ethiopia was marked by the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, who came to power after Iyasu V of Ethiopia, Iyasu V was deposed. In 1935, Haile Selassie's troops fought and lost the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, after which Italy annexed Ethiopia to Italian East Africa. Haile Selassie subsequently appealed to the League of Nations, delivering an address that made him a worldwide figure and 1935's ''Time (magazine), Time'' magazine Man of the Year. Following the entry of Italy into World War II, British Empire forces, together with patriot Ethiopian fighters, liberated Ethiopia during the East African Campaign (World War II), East African Campaign in 1941. Haile Selassie's reign came to an end in 1974, when a Soviet-backed Marxism-Leninism, Marxist-Leninist military junta, the Derg led by Mengistu Haile Mariam, deposed him, and established a one-party communist state, which was called the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. In July 1977, the Ogaden War broke out after the Somalia government of Siad Barre sought to incorporate the predominantly Somali-inhabited Ogaden region into a Pan-Somali Greater Somalia. By September 1977, the Military of Somalia, Somali army controlled 90% of the Ogaden, but was later forced to withdraw after Ethiopia's Derg received assistance from the USSR, Cuba, South Yemen, East Germany and North Korea, including around 15,000 Cuban combat troops. In 1989, the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front (TPLF) merged with other ethnically based opposition movements to form the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), and eventually managed to overthrow Mengistu's dictatorial regime in 1991. A transitional government, composed of an 87-member Council of Representatives and guided by a national charter that functioned as a transitional constitution, was then set up. The first free and democratic election took place later in 1995, when Ethiopia's longest-serving Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was elected to office. As with other nations in the Horn region, Ethiopia maintained its historically close relations with countries in the Middle East during this period of change. Zenawi died in 2012, but his Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) party remains the ruling political coalition in Ethiopia.


Geography


Geology and climate

The Horn of Africa is almost :wikt:equidistant, equidistant from the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. It consists chiefly of mountains uplifted through the formation of the Great Rift Valley (geographical concept), Great Rift Valley, a fissure in the Earth's crust (geology), crust extending from Turkey to Mozambique and marking the separation of the African and Arabian plate tectonics, tectonic plates. Mostly mountainous, the region arose through faults resulting from the Rift Valley. Geologically, the Horn and Yemen once formed a single landmass around 18 million years ago, before the
Gulf of Aden The Gulf of Aden ( ar, خليج عدن, so, Gacanka Cadmeed 𐒅𐒖𐒐𐒕𐒌 𐒋𐒖𐒆𐒗𐒒) also known as the ''Gulf of Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Soma ...

Gulf of Aden
rifted and separated the Horn region from the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
. The Somali Plate is bounded on the west by the East African Rift, which stretches south from the triple junction in the Afar Depression, and an undersea continuation of the rift extending southward offshore. The northern boundary is the Aden Ridge along the coast of Saudi Arabia. The eastern boundary is the Central Indian Ridge, the northern portion of which is also known as the Carlsberg Ridge. The southern boundary is the Southwest Indian Ridge. Extensive glaciers once covered the Simien Mountains, Simien and Bale Mountains but melted at the beginning of the Holocene. The mountains descend in a huge escarpment to the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northe ...

Red Sea
and more steadily to the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
. Socotra is a small island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. Its size is 3,600 km2 (1,390 sq mi) and it is a territory of Yemen. The lowlands of the Horn are generally arid in spite of their proximity to the equator. This is because the winds of the tropical monsoons that give seasonal rains to the Sahel and the Sudan (region), Sudan blow from the west. Consequently, they lose their moisture before reaching Djibouti and Somaliland, with the result that most of the Horn receives little rainfall during the monsoon season. In the mountains of Ethiopia, many areas receive over 2,000 mm (80 in) per year, and even Asmara receives an average of 570 mm (23 in). This rainfall is the sole source of water for many areas outside Ethiopia, including Egypt. In the winter, the northeasterly trade winds do not provide any moisture except in mountainous areas of northern Somalia, where rainfall in late autumn can produce annual totals as high as 500 mm (20 in). On the eastern coast, a strong upwelling and the fact that the winds blow parallel to the coast means annual rainfall can be as low as 50 mm (2 in). The climate in Ethiopia varies considerably between regions. It is generally hotter in the lowlands and temperate on the plateau. At Addis Ababa, which ranges from , maximum temperature is and minimum . The weather is usually sunny and dry, but the short (''belg'') rains occur from February to April and the big (''meher'') rains from mid-June to mid-September. The Danakil Desert stretches across 100,000 km2 of arid terrain in northeast Ethiopia, southern Eritrea, and northwestern Djibouti. The area is known for its volcanoes and extreme heat, with daily temperatures over 45 °C and often surpassing 50 °C. It has a number of lakes formed by lava flows that dammed up several valleys. Among these are Lake Karum, Lake Asale (116 m below sea level) and Lake Giuletti/Afrera (80 m below sea level), both of which possess cryptodepressions in the Danakil Depression. The Afrera contains many active volcanoes, including the Maraho, Dabbahu Volcano, Dabbahu, Afdera (volcano), Afdera and Erta Ale. In Somalia and Somaliland, there is not much seasonal variation in climate. Hot conditions prevail year-round along with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall. Mean daily maximum temperatures range from , except at higher elevations along the eastern seaboard, where the effects of a cold offshore current can be felt. Somalia has only two permanent rivers, the Jubba River, Jubba and the Shebelle River, Shabele, both of which begin in the Ethiopian Highlands.Hadden, Robert Lee. 2007
"The Geology of Somalia: A Selected Bibliography of Somalian Geology, Geography and Earth Science."
Engineer Research and Development Laboratories, Topographic Engineering Center


Ecology

About 220 mammals are found in the Horn of Africa. Among threatened species of the region, there are several antelopes such as the Beira (antelope), beira, the dibatag, the silver dikdik and the Speke's gazelle. Other remarkable species include the Somali wild ass, the desert warthog, the hamadryas baboon, the Somalia gerbil, Somali pygmy gerbil, the ammodile, and the gundi, Speke's pectinator. The Grevy's zebra is the unique wild Equidae, equid of the region. There are predators such as spotted hyena, striped hyena and leopard, African leopard. The endangered painted hunting dog had populations in the Horn of Africa, but pressures from human exploitation of habitat along with warfare have reduced or extirpated this canid in this region. Some important bird species of the Horn are the black boubou, the golden-winged grosbeak, the Warsangli linnet, and the Djibouti spurfowl. The Horn of Africa holds more endemic (ecology), endemic reptiles than any other region in Africa, with over 285 species total and about 90 species which are found exclusively in the region. Among endemic reptile genera, there are ''Haackgreerius'', ''Haemodracon'', ''Ditypophis'', ''Pachycalamus'' and ''Aeluroglena''. Half of these genera are uniquely found on Socotra. Unlike reptiles, amphibians are poorly represented in the region. There are about 100 species of freshwater fish in the Horn of Africa, about 10 of which are endemic. Among the endemic, the cave-dwelling Somali blind barb and the Somali cavefish can be found. It is estimated that about 5,000 species of vascular plants are found in the Horn, about half of which are endemic. Endemism is most developed in Socotra and northern Somalia. The region has two endemic plant family (biology), families: the Barbeyaceae and the Dirachmaceae. Among the other remarkable species, there are the cucumber tree found only on Socotra (''Dendrosicyos socotrana''), the Bankoualé palm, the Cordeauxia edulis, yeheb nut, and the Somali cyclamen. Due to the Horn of Africa's semi-arid and arid climate, droughts are not uncommon. They are complicated by climate change and changes in agricultural practices. For centuries, the region's Pastoralism, pastoral groups have observed careful rangeland management practices to mitigate the effects of drought, such as avoiding overgrazing or setting aside land only for young or ill animals. However, population growth has put pressure on limited land and led to these practices no longer being maintained. Droughts in 1983–85, 1991–92, 1998–99 and 2011 have disrupted periods of gradual growth in herd numbers, leading to a decrease of between 37% and 62% of the cattle population. Initiatives by ECHO and USAID have succeeded in reclaiming hundreds of hectares of pastureland through rangeland management, leading to the establishment of the Dikale Rangeland in 2004.Sara Pantuliano and Sara Pavanello (2009
Taking drought into account Addressing chronic vulnerability among pastoralists in the Horn of Africa
Overseas Development Institute


Demographics, ethnicity and languages

Besides sharing similar geographic endowments, the countries of the Horn of Africa are, for the most part, linguistically and ethnically linked together, evincing a complex pattern of interrelationships among the various groups. The two main macro groups in the Horn are the Cushitic languages, Cushitic-speaking Cushitic peoples traditionally centered in the lowlands and the Ethiopian Semitic languages, Ethiosemitic-speaking Ethiopian Highlands, Ethiopian Highlanders and Eritrean Highlands, Eritrean Highlanders centered in the highlands. According to ''Ethnologue'', there are 10 individual languages spoken in Djibouti (two native), 14 in Eritrea, 90 in Ethiopia, 15 in Somalia (Somali being the only native) and 3 in Somaliland. Most people in the Horn speak Afroasiatic languages of the
Cushitic The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They are spoken primarily in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA) om, Gaafa Afrikaa, am, የአፍሪካ ቀንድ, yäafrika qänd, so, Geeska Afrika 𐒌𐒜 ...

Cushitic
or Semitic languages, Semitic branches. The former includes Oromo, spoken by the Oromo people in Ethiopia, and Somali language, Somali, spoken by the Somali people in Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya; the latter includes Amharic language, Amharic, spoken by the Amhara people of Ethiopia, and
Tigrinya Tigrinya (ትግርኛ; also spelled Tigrigna) is a Semitic language spoken in Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in Eastern Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia in the south, Su ...
spoken by the Tigrayans, Tigrayan people of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Other Afroasiatic languages with a significant number of speakers include the Cushitic Afar language, Afar, Saho language, Saho, Hadiyya language, Hadiyya, Sidamo language, Sidamo and Agaw languages, Agaw languages, as well as the Semitic Tigre language, Tigre, Arabic language, Arabic, Gurage language, Gurage, Harari language, Harari, Silt'e language, Silt'e and Argobba language, Argobba tongues. Additionally, Omotic languages are spoken by Omotic communities inhabiting Ethiopia's southern regions. Among these idioms are Aari language, Aari, Dizi language, Dizi, Gamo language, Gamo, Kafa language, Kafa, Hamer language, Hamer and Wolaytta language, Wolaytta. Languages belonging to the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family are also spoken in some areas by Nilotic peoples, Nilotic ethnic minorities mostly in
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
and
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a ...

Eritrea
. These tongues include the Nilo-Saharan Me'en language, Me'en and Mursi language, Mursi languages used in southwestern Ethiopia, and Kunama language, Kunama and Nara language, Nara idioms spoken in parts of southern Eritrea. Languages belonging to the Niger-Congo languages, Niger-Congo language family are also spoken in some areas by Somali Bantu, Bantu ethnic minorities in Somalia. In the riverine and littoral areas of southern Somalia, Bajuni people, Bajuni, Bravanese people, Barawani, and Bantu groups also speak variants of the Niger-Congo Swahili language, Swahili and Zigula language, Mushunguli languages. The Horn has produced numerous indigenous writing systems. Among these is Ge'ez script ( ') (also known as ''Ethiopic''), which has been written in for at least 2000 years. It is an abugida script that was originally developed to write the Ge'ez language. In speech communities that use it, such as the Amharic and Tigrinya, the script is called ' (), which means "script" or "alphabet". For centuries, Somali sheikhs and Sultans used the wadaad writing, Wadaad script (a version of the Arab alphabets) to write. In the early 20th century, in response to a national campaign to settle on a writing script for the Somali language (which had long since lost its ancient script), Osman Yusuf Kenadid, a Somali poet and remote cousin of the Sultan Yusuf Ali Keenadid, Yusuf Ali Kenadid of the Sultanate of Hobyo, devised a phonetically sophisticated alphabet called Osmanya script, Osmanya (also known as ''far soomaali''; Osmanya: 𐒍𐒖𐒇 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘) for representing the sounds of Somali. Though no longer the official writing script in Somalia, the Osmanya script is available in the Unicode range 10480-104AF [from U+10480 – U+104AF (66688–66735)]. A number of ethnic minority groups in southern Ethiopia and Eritrea also adhere to various African traditional religion, traditional faiths. Among these belief systems are the Nilo-Saharan Surma people's acknowledgment of the sky god ''Tumu (god), Tumu''.


Economy

According to the IMF, in 2010 the Horn of Africa region had a total GDP (PPP) of $106.224 billion and nominal of $35.819 billion. Per capita, the GDP in 2010 was $1061 (PPP) and $358 (nominal). Over 95% of cross-border trade within the region is unofficial and undocumented, carried out by pastoralists trading livestock.Pavanello, Sara 2010

. London: Overseas Development Institute
The unofficial trade of live cattle, camels, sheep and goats from
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
sold to other countries in the Horn and the wider Eastern Africa region, including
Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Soomaaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd''), is a de facto sovereign s ...

Somaliland
,
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
and
Djibouti Djibouti, ar, جيبوتي ', french: link=no, Djibouti, so, Jabuuti officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsu ...

Djibouti
, generates an estimated total value of between US$250 and US$300 million annually (100 times more than the official figure), with the towns of Burao and Yirowe in Somaliland being home to the largest livestock markets in the Horn of Africa, with as many as 10,000 heads of sheep and goats sold daily from all over the Horn of Africa, with many of whom shipped to Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Gulf states via the Port of Berbera, port of
Berbera Berbera (; so, Barbara, ar, بربرة) is the capital of the Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil region of Somaliland and is the main sea port of the country. Berbera is a coastal city and was the former capital of the British Somaliland protectorate be ...

Berbera
. This trade helps lower food prices, increase food security, relieve border tensions and promote regional integration. However, the unregulated and undocumented nature of this trade runs risks, such as allowing disease to spread more easily across national borders. Furthermore, governments are unhappy with lost tax revenue and foreign exchange revenues.


See also

* Incense trade route * List of peninsulas * Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa * Silk Road * Sub-Saharan Africa * African Great Lakes, African Great Lakes Region


Notes


References


Sources

* * *


External links


History of the Horn of Africa

Horn of Africa News Agency

Horn of Africa Biodiversity Hotspot

Horn of Africa Concerns
from th
Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa official website


{{Authority control Horn of Africa, Geography of East Africa Peninsulas of Africa Regions of Africa Red Sea Gulf of Aden Historical regions