Somali - Identity
Written by webmaster at 3:14 PM on Monday, October 01, 2007
The Somalis are most closely related to the Rendille and the Afar, and distantly related to the Oromos, all Eastern Cushite peoples. Somalis are not a unitary people group, but a grouping of broad clan federations divided by language and by clan conflicts. Although all Somalis profess strong allegiance to Islam, they hold stronger primary loyalties to self, family and clan, in that order.
The Digil and Rahawiin (Reewiin) clans, who speak the Maay language, and the Jiiddu and Tunni, speaking their Maay-related languages, are also part of the broader Somali clan structure and political alliances. These clans include an additional 1.5 million people whose distinct characteristics warrant classifying them as separate ethnic groups.
Somalia is situated in the strategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Cana. It is located on the east coast of Africa. Together with Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti it is often referred to as the Horn of Africa.
It is bordered by Djibouti to the northwest, Kenya on its southwest, the Gulf of Aden with Yemen on its north, the Indian Ocean at its east, and Ethiopia to the west.
Hargeisa and much of the de-facto republic of Somaliland is desert or hilly terrain.
Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa.