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Geography of Somalia

Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia

Geographic coordinates: 10 00 N, 49 00 E

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 637,657 sq km
land: 627,337 sq km
water: 10,320 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries:
total: 2,366 km
border countries: Djibouti 58 km, Ethiopia 1,626 km, Kenya 682 km

Coastline: 3,025 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm

Climate: principally desert; December to February - northeast monsoon, moderate temperatures in north and very hot in south; May to October - southwest monsoon, torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons

Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Shimbiris 2,416 m

Natural resources: uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt

Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 69%
forests and woodland: 26%
other: 3% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,800 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during rainy season

Environment - current issues: famine; use of contaminated water contributes to human health problems; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Endangered Species, Law of the Sea
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban

Geography - note: strategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Canal

See also : Somalia



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