[[caption-width-right:329:A Country With No Order]]
->''Somalia has 1,900 miles of coastline, a government that knows its place, and all the guns and wives you can afford to buy. Why have I never heard of this paradise before?''
-->-- '''Pierce Hawthorne''', ''{{Series/Community}}''

First off, Somalia is ''not'' a [[DeathWorld good tourist destination]].

Somalia ('''Somali:''' ''Soomaaliya'', '''Arabic:''' ''الصومال‎ aṣ-Ṣūmāl''), officially known as the Federal Republic of Somalia ('''Somali:''' ''Jamhuuriyadda Federaalka Soomaaliya'', '''Arabic:''' ''جمهورية الصومال الفدرالية‎ Jumhūriyyat aṣ-Ṣūmāl al-Fiderāliyya''), is a desert country at the horn of Africa with a long, rich history. All you need to know about said history is that the country has been in a civil war since 1991, and it has all but destroyed the state's infrastructure. Fighting continues between various factions, and in January 2009 the Transitional Federal Government was sent into exile following the end of a war against Ethiopia, giving ''de facto'' control to the Islamist factions. Currently, the UN-backed government does not itself govern beyond the capital, Mogadishu. In other words, there are no traffic lights, no road maintenance, no postal service, and no police, unless you count the various local and foreign military groups assigned there to keep the peace. On the bright side, this means no taxes, so international businesses can import and export more cheaply. Not usually by boat, though, since there are [[RuthlessModernPirates pirates]] all around the busier ports. It's the textbook example of a "failed state".

There are five main regions in Somalia. From North to South:
* Somaliland: The safest region, and a ''de facto'' independent country. Currently vying for international recognition as such.
** Disputed region: Maakhir and Northland compose the region disputed between Somaliland and Puntland.
* Puntland: Not vying for independence, and not as safe. Most pirates come from here.
* Galmudug: Formerly ruled by pirates until they were driven out in 2007, the Galmudug government is trying to rebuild within its own country.
* Islamist Region: Formerly occupied by the Islamic Courts Union, the group has fallen from power since 2006, though their remnants in the form of Al Shabaab continue to control the area.
* Somali Galbeed (Western Somalia)/Ogadeen is the "Somali Province" Of UsefulNotes/{{Ethiopia}} (it is not included in most "Somalia" maps, hence why Somalia looks like a 7). It is an historic and ethnic Somali region. It was handed over to the Ethiopians by the British. To say they are not being treated well by their new country is an understatement. Somalis from that region want to reunite with their brother and sisters to the east, and create a Greater Somalia.

The capital, Mogadishu, is a ''bad'' place. The [[https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Mogadishu Wikivoyage page]] reads like an over-the-top parody, with no fewer than seven statements emphasizing the likelihood of travelers to die there, but it's all true. The rest of the country isn't much better, but Somaliland is probably the safest area. Noteworthy for both playing the trope {{We Are Struggling Together}} straight and subverting it at the same time, as the country has been wracked with civil war for decades, but the rival factions have temporarily united to drive out foreign groups sent to restore order (such as the American-led United Nations mission in the 1990s and the Ethiopian intervention in 2006-2008) before resuming fighting among themselves. At the moment (2011), the African Union is trying to stabilize the situation, but as with previous occupations can barely manage to keep the capital intact and watch as the chaos continues everywhere else.


[[folder: The Somali flag ]]


Bet you thought it was the Jolly Roger, huh? The white five-pointed star symbolizes the five areas dominated by the Somalis -- the British and Italian Somalilands (currently forming Somalia), Djibouti (once French Somaliland), Ogaden in UsefulNotes/{{Ethiopia}}, and the North Eastern Province in UsefulNotes/{{Kenya}}; the light blue field shares the same color as that of the United Nations, which was instrumental in granting Somalia legitimacy, though currently it symbolizes the Indian Ocean and the sky.
!! '''Somalia in RealLife provides examples of:'''
* AnarchyIsChaos: ''And how!''
* ArchEnemy: Somalia's had some pretty nasty spats with Ethiopia over the centuries.
* CosmicPlaything: The citizens.
* DirtyCommies: In power during c. 1969-1991, until a failed coup started the civil war with groups aided by Ethiopia, who would later invade to get rid of them in 2006, drawing the civil war out longer.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou
* FightingForAHomeland: About the one thing the Somalis seem to agree on is that they ''don't'' want to be ruled by foreigners.
* ForeverWar: Has been ongoing since the early 1990s with no hint of a conclusion.
* HobbesWasRight: Life without government really is [[ShoutOut nasty, brutish and short]].
* [[ChurchMilitant Mosque Militant]]: The ICU, and now al-Shabaab.
* OrderVersusChaos: The strong but brutal Islamists or the weak, ineffectual democrats? [[SadisticChoice Take your pick!]]
* PrivatelyOwnedSociety: Well, since there is no functioning government, this is ''de facto'' how things are run.
* RuthlessModernPirates: The TropeCodifier.
** Somali pirates are a nice example of how decades of anarchy can have unintended consequences. Without a functioning government, locals and foreigners were free to dump industrial waste in Somalia's coastal waters. Ten years later, all the fish are dead and Somali fishermen are left with nothing but easy access to weapons and a fine view of some of the world's busiest shipping lanes ...
* SchmuckBait: Go ahead. Send troops into Somalia. It worked so well for the United States, Ethiopia and the African Union.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: After the fiasco that was The First Battle of Mogadishu, in which a botched raid resulted in significant casualties, the UN (particularly the U.S., which lead the effort) swiftly washed their hands of the affair and left the country. [[ShaggyDogStory (General Aidid, the man the task force was attempting to capture, was killed in clan fighting not long after)]] This contributed strongly to later reluctance on the part of the U.S. government and the international community at large to get involved in [[UsefulNotes/{{Rwanda}} another bloodbath occurring in an African nation...]]
* WarOnStraw: Any libertarian in an online discussion with non-libertarians will sooner or later be accused of regarding Somalia as a "libertarian paradise".
* WretchedHive[=/=]ViceCity: Mogadishu is everywhere you don't want to be.

'''In media'''
* ''Film/BlackHawkDown''
* The Season Seven opener of ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' has Ziva David held prisoner by Islamists in Somalia.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' did an episode about [[RuthlessModernPirates Somali pirates.]]
* ''[[FlashForward2009 Flash Forward]]'' had [[spoiler: the beta test for the blackouts]] take place in Somalia. Some of the protagonists eventually find out about it and go there to investigate.
* {{Fansadox}}: "Somalian Waters". This is the comic that uses {{Ruritania}}n names so to not upset some countries.
* The movie ''Fishing Without Nets'' is a tragedy about a fisherman dragged into the ruthless world of piracy.
* One of the missions in ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare3'' takes place in Boosaaso, Price's team need to extract info from a guy named Waraabe on the attacks on Europe.
* The 2013 film ''Film/CaptainPhillips'', based on the real life hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somali pirates.