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Somalia’s first known inhabitants were Arabs who established trading posts over 1400 years ago. During the 19th century, Britain, France and Italy colonized the area, and it remained three separate colonies until Britain combined the region under one rule in 1941. This unity was sustained until 1950, when the area once colonized by Italy became a UN territory under Italian rule and was named Somalia. In 1960, the nation finally achieved independence from European rule; however, this newfound liberty brought about many conflicts. Clashes with Ethiopia began in the late 1960s and, for the most part, lasted throughout the late 1980s. Just as peace with Ethiopia was reached, internal conflicts began in 1992 and continue today, even though a transitional government has been established.



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