UCB Libraries

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Country background


Use the tabs below to find online resources about Somalia from governmental and nongovernmental sources. Most of these sources are freely available to the public, but titles followed by a CU symbol are only accessible on campus or via VPN.


  • Country Profiles
  • Official Government
  • Articles and Databases
  • Diplomacy and Aid
  • Health
  • Military and Peacekeeping
  • Search Chinook
  • Related Guides

BBC News Profile - Somalia
Background information about history, politics, and economics. From BBC News.


CIA World Factbook - Somalia
Information on country background, geography, people, government, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues. From the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

FAO and Somalia
Information on economic and agricultural issues from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It also has a good selection of maps.

Human Development Report on Somalia
Provides quick statistics on human development, economy, labor force, and population from the United Nations Development Programme.

IAEA - Somalia
Country factsheet on multilateral and safeguard agreements from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

IMF - Somalia
Country information, reports and publications from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

ITC - Somalia
Country-specific trade and market profiles, map, and trade statistics from the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Library of Congress Country Study - Somalia
This is a book-length report studying the history, social customs, and politics of the country from early times to the present.

OHCHR - Somalia
Country background, treaties, reporting status, calendar of events and publications related to human rights from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR).

UNESCO Worldwide - Somalia
Highlights cooperation between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its Member States.

United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Somalia
Country profile covering history, politics, economy, human rights, relations with the UK, and travel.

United Nations Statistics Division: Environment Snapshot - Somalia
Country snapshots offer national environment statistics.

U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics - Trade with Somalia
U.S. trade in goods (imports, exports and balance) with Somalia.

U.S. Department of Energy - Somalia
Country energy profile for production, consumption, U.S. oil imports, and CO2 emissions.

U.S. Department of State Background Note: Somalia
This resource provides background information on issues such as the economy, history, politics, and foreign relations. The State Department also provides access to annual reports on human rights and terrorism.
At this time the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of the Republic of Somalia has no web presence.

December 2011
Find Articles & More CIA Declassified Documents
Declassified information available from the Central Intelligency's (CIA's) FOIA Electronic Reading Room.
  • National Intelligence Council (NIC) Declassified Documents
    Database of intelligence reports, National Intelligence Estimates, and other publications produced by the National Intelligence Council or its predecessor organizations, the Office of National Estimates and the Office of Reports and Estimates since 1946.
Crisis Group International Databases and Resources
Crisis Group provides analysis of violent conflicts and peace implementation.

Congressional Research Service Reports (CRS) CU
The Congressional Research Service (CRS), the research arm of Congress, prepares short reports on topics of interest to members of Congress. Enter "Somalia" as the search term.

DDRS (Declassified Documents Reference System)
Search this database to find declassified documents related to Somalia.


Department of Defense Scientific and Technical Reports Collection provides access to citations to unclassified unlimited documents that have been entered into the Defense Technical Information Center's (DTIC's) Technical Reports (TR) Database, as well as the electronic full-text of many of these documents.

Digital National Security Archive CU
Database of primary declassified documents regarding critical U.S. policy decisions.

FIRST (Facts on International Relations and Security Trends)
An integrated database containing information on armed conflicts and peace keeping, arms production and trade, military expenditure, armed forces and weapons.

GLIN (Global Legal Information Network)
"Public database of official texts of laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and other complementary legal sources contributed by governmental agencies and international organizations."

Human Rights Watch - Somalia
News and reports related to human rights.

LexisNexis Academic Country & Region Reports CU
News, country briefings, and country risk guides. Filter by country or choose "Country & Region Reports" from publication type.

SESRIC Statistics Databases
Searchable statistical databases for member countries from the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), a subsidiary organ of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

UNdata provides a single entry point allowing users to search and download numerous statistical resources of the United Nations System.

World dataBank
Contains data from the World Bank, including the World Development Indicators & Global Development Finance, Gender Statistics, Education Statistics, Health Nutrition and Population Statistics, African Development Indicators, Global Economic Monitor, and Millennium Development Goals. Users can select variables (some going as far back as 1960) to create customized tables, charts, maps, and reports.

WITS (Worldwide Incidents Tracking System)
WITS is the National Counterterrorism Center's database of terrorist incidents.

African Development Bank Group - Somalia
Projects, strategy papers, and information about Somalia and the ADB.

AFESD (Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development)
Projects, operations, resources, and technical assistance from the AFESD. Members of the AFESD are the 21 Arab countries that are members of the League of Arab states (including the Somali Democratic Republic).

African Union

The main objectives of the AU are "to promote unity and solidarity among African States, to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development, to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States, and to promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations."

Embassy of the United States in Somalia - Virtual Presence Post
Diplomatic representation of the U.S. in Somalia.

EU Relations with Somalia
Overview, country strategy, EU support, and documents on the European Union's relations with Somalia.

G-77 at the United Nations
The Group of 77 is an intergovernmental organization of developing states in the UN. It provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development. There are now 130 member states (including Somalia), although the name G-77 was retained because of its historical significance.

IRIN Humanitarian Profile - Somalia
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks), part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), provides news and analysis about sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia for the humanitarian community.

Islamic Development Bank
"The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is a Multilateral Development Bank (MDB), established to foster the economic development and social progress of its member countries and Muslim communities in non-member countries in accordance with the principles of Shari'ah (Islamic Law). There are 56 member countries (including Afghanistan).

League of Arab States (In Arabic)
Established in 1945, the Arab League has 22 members (including Somalia). The Arab League promotes the political, economic, cultural, and social interests of member states.

NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development)
NEPAD is a strategy for sustainable development and poverty reduction in Africa.

Permanent Mission of Somalia to the United Nations
Website of member state missions and their representatives to the United Nations.

ReliefWeb - Somalia
ReliefWeb, administered by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), provides news, documents, maps, and background information on emergency assistance by country.
  • OCHA - Somalia
    "OCHA-Somalia is responsible for monitoring relief needs and providing humanitarian support services to the UN Country Team (UNCT) reporting directly to the Humanitarian Coordinator and through the Resident Coordinator to the Heads of UN-Agencies."
SESRIC Statistics Databases
Searchable statistical database for member countries from the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), a subsidiary organ of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

United Nations

USAID - East Africa - Somalia
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) economic and humanitarian assistance programs in Somalia.

  • USAID - East Africa
    USAID Assistance in Eastern Africa (Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia).
U.S. Department of State - Somalia
U.S.-Somali relations, humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, and country background notes.

World Bank - Somalia
World Bank data, projects, and research in Somalia.

World Food Programme - Somalia
The World Food Programme (WFP) is the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global hunger.
UNAIDS - Somalia
Country situation analysis and news from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

World Health Organization (WHO)
International Crisis Group - Somalia
Reports, briefings, and analysis of violent conflicts and peace implementation in Somalia.

United Nations

  • United Nations Operation in Somalia I (UNISOM I)
    April 1992-March 1993: "UNOSOM I was established to monitor the ceasefire in Mogadishu and escort deliveries of humanitarian supplies to distribution centres in the city. The mission's mandate and strength were later enlarged to enable it to protect humanitarian convoys and distribution centres throughout Somalia. It later worked with the Unified Task Force in the effort to establish a safe environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance."
  • United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNISOM II)
    March 1993-March 1995: "UNOSOM II was established in March 1993 to take appropriate action, including enforcement measures, to establish throughout Somalia a secure environment for humanitarian assistance. To that end, UNOSOM II was to complete, through disarmament and reconciliation, the task begun by the Unified Task Force for the restoration of peace, stability, law and order. UNOSOM II was withdrawn in early March 1995."

The library collection contains numerous secondary, federal, and international sources of information on Somalia.


Try these searches to see some of the resources in Chinook, the library catalog:


Electronic Resources Print and Electronic Resources
somalia and econom* somalia and econom*
somalia and histor* somalia and histor*
somalia and politic* somalia and politic*
somalia (government publications only) somalia (government publications only)

The * replaces up to five characters in a word.


For additional foreign information, arranged by subject, see the Subject Page.