photo: The African Film & Video Resource Centre

Mogadishu, the capital city and chief port of Somalia, has been an important centre on the east coast of Africa since ancient times. Somalia consists of the former colonies British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland, and was established as a single independent nation in 1960. A coup in 1969 led to military dictatorship under Siad Barre. In 1991, after years of ruthless rule, Barre was overthrown, leaving a legacy of bitter inner-clan violence.