Menu





Adsense

Adsense

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Mogadishu::Ancient City in Somalia_Part_1

Mogadishu (/ˌmɔːɡəˈdiːʃuː/; Somali: Muqdisho; Arabic: مقديشو‎ Maqadīshū), known locally as Xamar (English: Hamar), is the largest city in Somalia and the nation's capital. Located in the coastal Banaadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries. As of 2009, it had a population of 1,353,000 residents.

 


Tradition and old records assert that southern Somalia, including the Mogadishu area, was historically inhabited by hunter-gatherers of Khoisan descent. These were later joined by Cushitic agro-pastoralists, who would go on to establish local aristocracies. During its medieval Golden Age, Mogadishu was ruled by the Muzaffar dynasty, a vassal of the Ajuran Sultanate. It subsequently fell under the control of an assortment of local Sultanates and polities, most notably the Geledi Sultanate. The city later became the capital of Italian Somaliland in the colonial period. Post-independence, it was known and promoted as the White Pearl of the Indian Ocean. After the ousting of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 and the ensuing civil war, various militias fought for control of the city, later to be replaced by the Islamic Courts Union. The ICU thereafter splintered into more radical groups, notably Al-Shabaab, which fought the Transitional Federal Government and its AMISOM allies. With a change in administration in late 2010, government troops and their military partners had succeeded in forcing out Al-Shabaab by August 2011. Mogadishu has subsequently experienced a period of intense reconstruction.
As Somalia's capital city, many of the important national institutions are based in the city. The Federal Government of Somalia was established on 20 August 2012, and the Federal Parliament of Somalia serves as the government's legislative branch. Mogadishu's municipal government is currently led by Mayor Hassan Mohamed Hussein Mungab, a former military court chairman. Villa Somalia is the official residential palace and principal workplace of the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. In May 2012, the First Somali Bank was established in the capital, which organized Mogadishu's first ever Technology, Entertainment, Design (TEDx) conference. The establishment of a local construction yard has also galvanized the city's real estate sector. Arba'a Rukun Mosque is one of the oldest Islamic places of worship in the capital, built circa 667 (1268/9 CE). The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity in Mogadishu is also the largest masjid in the Horn region. Mogadishu Cathedral was built in 1928 by the colonial authorities in Italian Somaliland in a Norman Gothic style, and served as the traditional seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mogadiscio. Additionally, the National Museum of Somalia is based in Mogadishu and holds many culturally important artefacts. The National Library of Somalia is also undergoing a $1 million Somali federal government funded renovation, including a new library complex.
Mogadishu is home to a number of scholastic and media institutions. As part of the government's urban renewal program, 100 schools across the capital are scheduled to be refurbished and reopened. The Somali National University (SNU) was established in the 1950s, and professors from the university later founded the non-governmental Mogadishu University (MU). Benadir University (BU) was established in 2002 with the intention of training doctors. Various national sporting bodies also have their headquarters in Mogadishu including the Somali Football Federation and Somali Olympic Committee. Mogadishu Stadium was constructed in 1978 during the Siad Barre administration, with the assistance of Chinese engineers. It hosts football matches with teams from the Somalia League and the Somalia Cup. The Port of Mogadishu serves as a major national seaport and is the largest harbour in the country. The Mogadishu International Airport is the capital's main airport, and is the hub of the relaunched national carrier Somali Airlines.

Etymology

The name Mogadishu is held to be derived from the Persian Maq'ad-i-Shah (مقعد شاه), which means "the seat of the Shah." This is a reflection of the city's early Persian influence. It is known locally as Xamar (English: Hamar).

History

Early history



Engraving of the 13th century Fakr ad-Din Mosque built by Fakr ad-Din, the first Sultan of the Sultanate of Mogadishu
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. Although most of these early inhabitants are believed to have been either overwhelmed, driven away or, in some cases, assimilated by later migrants to the area, physical traces of their occupation survive in certain ethnic minority groups inhabiting modern-day Jubaland and other parts of the south. The latter descendants include relict populations such as the Eile, Aweer, the Wa-Ribi, and especially the Wa-Boni. By the time of the arrival of peoples from the Cushitic Rahanweyn (Digil and Mirifle) clan confederacy, who would go on to establish a local aristocracy, other Cushitic groups affiliated with the Oromo (Wardai) and Ajuuraan (Ma'adanle) had already formed settlements of their own in the sub-region.
The ancient city of Sarapion is believed to have been positioned in or near present-day 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. According to the Periplus, maritime trade already connected peoples in the Mogadishu area with other communities along the Indian Ocean coast.

Flag of the Ajuran Sultanate, a Somali empire of which medieval Mogadishu was an important vassal.
The Sultanate of Mogadishu later developed with the immigration of Emozeidi Arabs, a community whose earliest presence dates back to the 9th or 10th century. This evolved into the Muzaffar dynasty, a joint Somali-Arab federation of rulers, and Mogadishu became closely linked with the powerful Somali Ajuran Sultanate. Following his visit to the city, the 12th century Syrian historian Yaqut al-Hamawi wrote that it was inhabited by dark-skinned Berbers, the ancestors of the modern Somalis.
For many years, Mogadishu stood as the pre-eminent city in the Bilad-ul-Barbar (بلاد البربر), meaning "Land of the Berbers," which was the medieval Arabic term for the Horn of Africa. 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. He added that the city was ruled by a Somali Sultan, Abu Bakr ibn Sayx 'Umar, who was originally from Berbera in northern Somalia and spoke both Somali (referred to by Battuta as Mogadishan, the Benadir dialect of Somali) and Arabic with equal fluency. The Sultan also had a retinue of wazirs (ministers), legal experts, commanders, royal eunuchs, and other officials at his service.
The Portuguese would subsequently attempt to occupy the city, but never managed to take it. In his journal of an expedition to the region in 1497-1499, the explorer João de Sá, who accompanied Vasco da Gama on the voyage, wrote that Magadoxo (Mogadishu) was controlled by Moors. A big town surrounded by four towers, it had houses several storeys high and large palaces in its center. De Sá and his men bombarded the city before continuing southwards along the seaboard. The Hawiye Somali, however, were later successful in defeating the Ajuran State and bringing about the end of Muzaffar rule.

1800s–1950s



Downtown Mogadishu in 1936, Arba'a Rukun Mosque to the centre right
By 1892, Mogadishu was under the joint control of the Somali Geledi Sultanate and the Omani Sultanate of Zanzibar. The Geledi Sultans were at the height of their power. They dominated the southern ivory trade, and also held sway over the Jubba and Shebelle valleys in the hinterland. The Omani Sultans' authority in Mogadishu, however, was largely nominal. When Imam Azzan bin Qais of Oman sought to build a fort in the city, he was thus obligated to request permission from Sultan Ahmed Yusuf of Geledi. This Fort of Garessa was eventually constructed in 1870.In 1892, Ali bin Said leased the city to Italy. Italy purchased the city in 1905 and 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.Thousands of Italians settled in Mogadishu and founded small manufacturing companies. They also developed some agricultural areas in the south near the capital, such as Janale and the Villaggio duca degli Abruzzi (present-day Jowhar). In the 1930s, new buildings and avenues were built. A 114 km (71 mi) narrow-gauge railway was laid from Mogadishu to Jowhar. An asphalted road, the Strada Imperiale, was also constructed and intended to link Mogadishu to Addis Ababa.In 1940, the Italo-Somali population numbered 22,000, accounting for over 44% of the city's population of 50,000 residents. Mogadishu remained the capital of Italian Somaliland throughout the latter polity's existence.

1960–1990



An avenue in Mogadishu in 1963
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. A government was formed by Abdullahi Issa and other members of the trusteeship and protectorate governments, with Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf as President of the Somali National Assembly, Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as President of the Somali Republic, and Abdirashid Ali Shermarke as Prime Minister (later to become President from 1967 to 1969). On 20 July 1961 and through a popular referendum, the people of Somalia ratified a new constitution, which was first drafted in 1960. In 1967, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal became Prime Minister, a position to which he was appointed by Shermarke.
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.

Metropolitan Mogadishu in the 1980s
Alongside Barre, the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) that assumed power after President Sharmarke's assassination was led by Lieutenant Colonel Salaad Gabeyre Kediye and Chief of Police Jama Korshel. Kediye officially held the title of "Father of the Revolution," and Barre shortly afterwards became the head of the SRC. The SRC subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic, arrested members of the former civilian government, banned political parties, dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution.
The revolutionary army established various large-scale public works programmes, including the Mogadishu Stadium. In addition to a nationalization programme of industry and land, the Mogadishu-based new regime's foreign policy placed an emphasis on Somalia's traditional and religious links with the Arab world, eventually joining the Arab League in 1974.
After fallout from the unsuccessful Ogaden campaign of the late 1970s, the Barre administration began arresting government and military officials under suspicion of participation in the abortive 1978 coup d'état. Most of the people who had allegedly helped plot the putsch were summarily executed. However, several officials managed to escape abroad and started to form the first of various dissident groups dedicated to ousting Barre's regime by force.

Civil war


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.

Aerial view of a residential area in Mogadishu (1992)
UN Security Council Resolution 733 and UN Security Council Resolution 746 led to the creation of UNOSOM I, the first stabilization mission in Somalia after the dissolution of the central government. United Nations Security Council Resolution 794 was unanimously passed on 3 December 1992, which approved a coalition of United Nations peacekeepers led by the United States. Forming the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the alliance was tasked with assuring security until humanitarian efforts were transferred to the UN. Landing in 1993, the UN peacekeeping coalition started the two-year United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) primarily in the south.
Some of the militias that were then competing for power interpreted the UN troops' presence as a threat to their hegemony. Consequently, several gun battles took place in Mogadishu between local gunmen and peacekeepers. Among these was the Battle of Mogadishu of 1993, an unsuccessful attempt by US troops to apprehend faction leader Aidid. The UN soldiers eventually withdrew altogether from the country on 3 March 1995, having incurred more significant casualties.
In 2006, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an Islamist organization, assumed control of much of the southern part of the country and promptly imposed Shari'a law. The new Transitional Federal Government (TFG), established two years earlier, sought to re-establish its authority. With the assistance of Ethiopian troops, AMISOM peacekeepers and air support by the United States, it managed to drive out the rival ICU and solidify its rule. On 8 January 2007, as the Battle of Ras Kamboni raged, TFG President and founder Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, a former colonel in the Somali Army, entered Mogadishu for the first time since being elected to office. The government then relocated to Villa Somalia in Mogadishu from its interim location in Baidoa, marking the first time since the fall of the Barre regime in 1991 that the federal government controlled most of the country.

Former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo)'s technocratic administration is credited with having started the city's pacification, a process completed by his successor Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.
Following this defeat, the Islamic Courts Union splintered into several different factions. Some of the more radical elements, including Al-Shabaab, regrouped to continue their insurgency against the TFG and oppose the Ethiopian military's presence in Somalia. Throughout 2007 and 2008, Al-Shabaab scored military victories, seizing control of key towns and ports in both central and southern Somalia. At the end of 2008, the group had captured Baidoa but not Mogadishu. By January 2009, Al-Shabaab and other militias had managed to force the Ethiopian troops to retreat, leaving behind an under-equipped African Union peacekeeping force to assist the Transitional Federal Government's troops.
Between 31 May and 9 June 2008, representatives of Somalia's federal government and the moderate Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) group of Islamist rebels participated in peace talks in Djibouti brokered by the UN. The conference ended with a signed agreement calling for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops in exchange for the cessation of armed confrontation. Parliament was subsequently expanded to 550 seats to accommodate ARS members, which then elected a new president. With the help of a small team of African Union troops, the coalition government also began a counteroffensive in February 2009 to retake control of the southern half of the country. To solidify its control of southern Somalia, the TFG formed an alliance with the Islamic Courts Union, other members of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, and Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a, a moderate Sufi militia.
In November 2010, a new technocratic government was elected to office, which enacted numerous reforms, especially in the security sector. By August 2011, the new administration and its AMISOM allies had managed to capture all of Mogadishu from the Al-Shabaab militants. Mogadishu has subsequently experienced a period of intense reconstruction spearheaded by the Somali diaspora, the municipal authorities, and Turkey, a historic ally of Somalia.

Geography


Mogadishu as seen from the International Space Station
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. 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. 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.
The Shebelle River (Webiga Shabelle) rises in central Ethiopia and comes within 30 kilometers (19 mi) of the Indian Ocean near Mogadishu before turning southwestward. Usually dry during February and March, the river provides water essential for the cultivation of sugarcane, cotton, and bananas.

Climate


The Mogadishu beachfront
For a city situated so near the equator, Mogadishu has a relatively dry climate. It is classified as hot and semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSh), as with much of southeastern Somalia. By contrast, towns in northern Somalia generally have a hot arid climate (Köppen BWh).
Mogadishu is located in or near the tropical thorn woodland biome of the Holdridge global bioclimatic scheme. 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. Precipitation per year averages 399 millimetres (15.7 in). There are 64 wet days annually, which are associated with a 17% daily probability of rainfall. The city has an average of 3,083 hours of sunshine per year, with 8:26 hours of sunlight per day. Mean daylight hours and minutes per day are 12h 00'. The annual percentage of sunny versus cloudy daylight hours is 70 and 30, respectively. Average sun altitude at solar noon on the 21st day of the month is 75.
Climate data for Mogadishu
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37
(99)
39
(102)
42
(108)
41
(106)
40
(104)
38
(100)
42
(108)
42
(108)
37
(99)
32
(90)
41
(106)
42
(108)
42
(108)
Average high °C (°F) 30.2
(86.4)
30.2
(86.4)
30.9
(87.6)
32.2
(90)
31.2
(88.2)
29.6
(85.3)
28.6
(83.5)
28.6
(83.5)
29.4
(84.9)
30.2
(86.4)
30.6
(87.1)
30.8
(87.4)
30.2
(86.4)
Average low °C (°F) 23.0
(73.4)
23.4
(74.1)
24.9
(76.8)
25.6
(78.1)
24.9
(76.8)
23.7
(74.7)
23.1
(73.6)
23.0
(73.4)
23.4
(74.1)
24.3
(75.7)
24.2
(75.6)
23.5
(74.3)
23.9
(75)
Record low °C (°F) 22
(72)
20
(68)
20
(68)
17
(63)
22
(72)
20
(68)
20
(68)
20
(68)
20
(68)
17
(63)
22
(72)
21
(70)
17
(63)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0
(0)
0
(0)
8
(0.31)
61
(2.4)
61
(2.4)
82
(3.23)
64
(2.52)
44
(1.73)
25
(0.98)
32
(1.26)
43
(1.69)
9
(0.35)
429
(16.87)
Avg. rainy days 0 0 0 5 6 10 9 7 3 2 4 1 47
 % humidity 78 78 77 77 80 80 81 81 81 80 79 79 79.3
Source #1: Weltwetter Spiegel Online
Source #2: Weatherbase

Government


The Federal Government of Somalia has its seat in Mogadishu, the nation's capital.

Federal

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was the internationally recognized central government of Somalia between 2004 and 2012. Based in Mogadishu, it constituted the executive branch of government.
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 legislative branch.

Municipal


Mayor of Mogadishu Hassan Mohamed Hussein Mungab
Mogadishu's municipal government is currently led by Mayor Hassan Mohamed Hussein Mungab, a former military court chairman. He replaced Mohamud Ahmed Nur ("Tarsan"), an erstwhile Labour Party member and business advisor to Islington Council in London. Since 2010, the municipality in conjunction with the federal authorities enacted a number of reforms in a bid to improve the city's security and service delivery.
Among these new development initiatives are a US$100 million urban renewal project, the creation of garbage disposal and incineration plants, the launch of a city-wide cleanup project, the creation of asphalt and cement plants, rehabilitation of the Town Hall and parliament buildings, reconstruction of the former Defence Ministry offices, reconstruction of correctional facilities, rehabilitation and construction of health facilities, establishment of a Police Training Center and a permanent base in Jasiira for the new Somali Armed Forces, rebuilding of the Somali Postal Service headquarters, and rehabilitation of public playgrounds in several districts. In January 2014, the Banaadir administration launched the House Numbering and Post Code System. It also began distributing national identity cards in March of the year. In addition, the municipal authorities began renovating important local government centers in September 2014, including the capital's former Fisho Guverno compound.

Diplomatic missions

 

 The embassy of Turkey in Mogadishu

A number of countries maintain foreign embassies and consulates in Mogadishu. As of January 2014, these diplomatic missions include the embassies of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Uganda, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Japan, China,and Qatar.Embassies that are scheduled to reopen in the city include those of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Italy and South Korea.In February 2014, Somalia's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abdirahman Duale Beyle announced that the federal government was slated to reopen the former Institute of Diplomacy in Mogadishu. The center historically served as one of the most important national institutions for diplomacy and international relations. Beyle also pledged to reestablish the institute's diplomacy department, its information and broadcasting department, as well as its library.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

FeedBurner FeedCount

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Adsense

Share with Freinds...

Followers