Somalia officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic
Somali Democratic Republic
The Somali Democratic Republic was the name that the communist regime of former President of Somalia Major General Mohamed Siad Barre gave to Somalia after seizing power during a bloodless coup d'état in 1969...

 under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War
Somali Civil War
The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. The conflict, which began in 1991, has caused destabilisation throughout the country, with the current phase of the conflict seeing the Somali government losing substantial control of the state to rebel forces...

 in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory. The internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government
Transitional Federal Government
The Transitional Federal Government is the current internationally recognized government of the Republic of Somalia. It was established as one of the Transitional Federal Institutions of government as defined in the Transitional Federal Charter adopted in November 2004 by the Transitional...

 controls only a small part of the country. Somalia has been characterized as a failed state
Failed state
The term failed state is often used by political commentators and journalists to describe a state perceived as having failed at some of the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government...

 and is one of the poorest and most violent states in the world.

Somalia lies in the eastern-most part of Africa.

1960    Independence of Somalia.

1969    A coup d'état in Somalia brings Siad Barre to power.

1970    Siad Barre declares Somalia a socialist state.

1977    Four Palestinians hijack ''Lufthansa Flight 181'' to Somalia and demand release of 11 members of the Red Army Faction.

1977    German Autumn: Four days after it is hijacked, Lufthansa Flight 181 lands in Mogadishu, Somalia, where a team of German GSG 9 commandos later rescues all remaining hostages on board.

1977    The last natural case of smallpox is discovered in Merca district, Somalia. The WHO and the CDC consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination.

1991    Mohamed Siad Barre is removed from power in Somalia, ending centralized government, and is succeeded by Ali Mahdi.

1991    Northern Somalia declares independence from the rest of Somalia as the Republic of Somaliland but is not recognised by the international community.

1992    UN Security Council Resolution 794 is unanimously passed, approving a coalition of United Nations peacekeepers led by the United States to form UNITAF, with the task of establishing peace and ensuring that humanitarian aid is distributed in Somalia.

1992    Somali Civil War: President George H. W. Bush orders 28,000 US troops to Somalia in Northeast Africa.