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Mogadishu travel guide — Mogadishu tourism and travel information

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Mogadishu travel guide

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about Mogadishu

Mogadishu is the capital city of Somalia, eastern Africa, on the Indian Ocean. In 2000, the population was estimated to be 1,219,000.

Mogadishu is the country's largest city, a seaport, and a commercial and financial center. Its principal industries are food and beverages, and textiles. The city is linked by road with Kenya and Ethiopia and has an international airport. Among its historic buildings are the Mosque of Fakr ad-Din (1269) and Garesa Palace, built in the late 19th century for the local administrator of the sultan of Zanzibar and now housing a museum and library. Mogadishu is the seat of the Somalia National University.

Mogadishu was settled by Arab colonists c.900, and by the early 12th century had become an important trade center for the east coast of Africa. It was visited by Zheng He's armada and came under the control of Portugal in the 16th century. The origin of the name is unclear; one version claims it as the Somali version of the Arabic name "maqad shah" (imperial seat of the shah), another version claims that it is a Somali version of the Swahili "mwyu ma" (last northern city).

In 1871 the city was occupied by the sultan of Zanzibar, who leased it to the Italians in 1892. In 1905 Italy purchased the city and made it the capital of its colony of Italian Somaliland. Mogadishu was captured and occupied during World War II by British forces operating from Kenya. During Somalia's long civil war from the 1970s, rebel forces took the city in 1990. Intense battling between clan-based rebel factions damaged many parts of Mogadishu in 1991 and 1992. UN peacekeeping forces were stationed in the city between 1992 and 1995.

On October 3, 1993, an attempt by the United States Army to capture lieutenants of the warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid while successful, ended in disaster. In the ensuing battle, 19 American soldiers were killed and several dozen were injured. The events were later dramatised in the novel and film Black Hawk Down.

Today Mogadishu continues to be one of the world's most dangerous cities, as clan and faction fighting rages unabated. The city is also the seat of the internationally-recognized Transitional National Government, ostensibly an interim government for the entire nation of Somalia which in reality has no influence outside the radius of a few blocks beyond its headquarters.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mogadishu".

This city is also known as: Mogadishu.

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