Throughout the first half of the 20th century Somalia fought against the imperial grip of Great Britain and Italy. Eventually Somalia was given to the United Nations where it remained as a United Nations trust territory for 10 years until July 1, 1960, when, Somalia was granted independence.
Somalia's transition into an independent nation was peaceful until 1969 when Somalia's second president, Abdi Rashid Ali Shirmarke, was assassinated. The president’s murder was the prelude to a military coup, led by Major General Muhammed Siyad Barre. In 1970 under Barre’s rule, Somalia was declared a socialist state.
Somalia is estimated to have a population of 7.5 million people and its government remains unstable. Currently many of the areas in Somalia are under self-rule with control held by local leaders.
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