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Somalia occupies an important geopolitical position on the Horn of Africa, bridging sub-Saharan Africa and the countries of Arabia and southwestern Asia. Large quantities of Australia's seaborne trade pass through the busy maritime trade routes and shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia.

Somalia formed on 26 June 1960 after its constituent parts became independent from British and Italian administration. After the overthrow of Said Barre's military-led socialist government in 1991, Somalia entered a period of civil war and was without an effective central government for twenty years. Somalia concluded its transitional governance period and peacefully installed a new federal government in September 2012. Federal elections were held in late 2016 and early 2017 based on a power sharing formula which will distribute political representation amongst Somali clans. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Farmajo, was elected President on 8 February 2017.

Somali security forces, with the assistance of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), have liberated Mogadishu and other cities in southern and central Somalia from the control of the militant group, Al Shabaab. However, Al Shabaab remains a threat and the security situation in Somalia remains unpredictable across much of the country. Somalia's humanitarian situation is precarious, due to a combination of drought, floods and continuing conflict.

Australia provided $10.5 million in humanitarian assistance for Somalia in 2018-19, which builds on our past financial and logistical support to AMISOM, and support for counter-piracy efforts, state-building and resilience building.

Australia's diplomatic representation to Somalia is from the High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya. Somalia has an Honorary Consul resident in Melbourne.

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Last Updated: 23 July 2019
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