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Mogadishu facts for kids

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Nickname(s): Xamar
Mogadishu's location in Somalia
Mogadishu's location in Somalia
Country Somalia
Region Banadir
Population (2006)
 • Total 1,700,000
Time zone EAT (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EAT (UTC+3)

Mogadishu (Somali: Muqdisho) is the capital city of the African country of Somalia. It is also the largest city in that country. Mogadishu is in Benadir region on the Indian Ocean. The city has been an important port for the region for centuries. Estimates of the population of the city are between 1.5 and 3 million people.

Mogadishu has had many years of fighting between militias. This is because the government of Somalia fell in 1991.


Trade between the people in the Mogadishu area with other areas along the Indian coast of Africa started as early as the 1st century. Muslim traders from the Arabian Peninsula came to the area during the 10th century. Because of trade with them, Islam spread through Somalia. The Portuguese tried to take control of the city, but failed. In 1871 Barghash bin Said, the sultan of Zanzibar, controlled the city.

In 1892, Ali bin Said let Italy use the city. Italy bought the city in 1905. They made Mogadiscio (Italian for Mogadishu) the capital of Italian Somaliland. The Italians took control of the area around the city in 1936 after heavy resistance. British forces that were in Kenya during World War II captured Mogadishu on February 26, 1941. The British ruled until they gave Italy control of the city again in 1952. Somalia became independent in 1960 with Mogadishu as its capital.

Rebel forces entered and took the city in 1990. They forced President Mohamed Siad Barre to resign and leave the country in January 1991. He went to Lagos, Nigeria. Some of the rebels said that Ali Mahdi Muhammad was the new president. Others said that Mohamed Farrah Aidid was president. A group of United States Marines landed near Mogadishu on December 9, 1992. They were the first part of the United Nations peacekeeping forces during Operation Restore Hope to go to the country.


Mogadishu is a commercial and financial center for Somalia. The economy got better after the Somali Civil War but there are still problems. Because there is no government, there is free trade without taxes or regulatory costs. This makes businesses not cost as much as it does in other places. Businesses have hired armed militias to have security. This is causing less violence in the city.

The main industries of the city include making food and beverages as well as textiles. The main textile is cotton. The main market many different types of goods from food to electronic items.

Mogadishu has the most port traffic of any port in Somalia. It is still a major seaport. However, there is much piracy around Somalia's coastal areas. This makes trade risky.

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