Somali - Identity
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
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
Hargeisa and much of the de-facto republic of Somaliland is desert or hilly terrain.
Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa.