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Mogadisho(both: mŏgədĭsh`o͞o), Ital. Mogadiscio, city (1990 est. pop. 1,200,000), capital of Somalia, on the Indian Ocean. It is the country's largest city, a port, and a commercial and financial center. Mogadishu has little industry except for food and beverage processing and cotton ginning. Uranium ore has been discovered nearby. The city is linked by road with Kenya and Ethiopia and has an international airport. Among its historic buildings are the Mosque of Fakr ad-Din (1269) and Garesa Palace, built in the late 19th cent. for the local administrator of the sultan of Zanzibar and now housing a museum and library. Mogadishu is the seat of the Somalia National Univ.
Mogadishu was settled by Arab colonists c.900, and by the early 12th cent. it had become an important trade center for the east coast of Africa. During the 16th cent. it was controlled by Portugal. In 1871 the city was occupied by the sultan of Zanzibar, who leased it to the Italians in 1892. In 1905 Italy purchased the city and made it the capital of its colony of Italian Somaliland. Mogadishu was captured and occupied during World War II by British forces operating from Kenya.
Rebel forces entered the city in 1990 during Somalia's long civil war. Intense battling between clan-based rebel factions damaged many parts of Mogadishu in 1991 and 1992, and the city continued to be the scene of outbreaks of fighting after 1995, when peacekeeping forces, which arrived in 1992, left. In 2006, however, the militia associated with the Islamic courts seized control of the city from the warlords. Following the courts' ouster in 2007 by Somali government and Ethiopian troops, parts of the city were again devastated by fighting, which continued in subsequent months, becoming increasing violent during 2008. More than half the population was believed to have fled the city by late 2008. Ethiopian troops withdrew from their bases in the city in Jan., 2009. Fighting, at times heavy, continued between government and African Union forces (posted in the city since early 2007) and hard-line Islamists, who had seized and held much of the city until they largely withdrew in 2011. In Apr., 2012, AU forces claimed control of the entire city, but Islamists continued to mount deadly bombings and attacks in the city in subsequent years; a bombing in 2017 killed more than 500 people.
(also Mogadiscio), the capital of the Somali Democratic Republic and the administrative center of the Benadir Region. It is situated on the Indian Ocean. Climate is subequatorial, with an average January temperature of 27.5°C and an average July temperature of 26.1°C. Precipitation totals 433 mm annually. Population, 200,000 (1972).
Founded by Arab colonists at the end of the ninth century, Mogadishu soon became an important trade center. It declined in the 15th century. In 1499 a Portuguese fleet under the command of Vasco da Gama bombarded the city. In the 17th century it came under the control of Oman, and in the 19th century, Zanzibar. In 1905, Mogadishu became the administrative center of Italian Somaliland. During World War II it was seized by the British. From 1950 to 1960 it was the capital of the Somalia trust territory, administered by Italy. In July 1960 it became the capital of the independent Somali Republic, renamed the Somali Democratic Republic in October 1969.
Mogadishu is the country’s main port; the principal imports are industrial raw materials and semifinished products. It is a highway junction and has an airport. Its main industries are food processing and the production of leather footwear and wood products. A milk-processing plant was built with the aid of the USSR.
Among the city’s higher educational institutions are the National University of Somalia (including the Teacher Training Center), the School of Islamic Disciplines, the Ecole Industrielle, the School of Public Health, the Veterinary College, and the School of Seamanship and Fishing. Scientific institutions include the Geological Survey, the Institute for the Preparation of Vaccines and Serums, and the Society of Medicine and Tropical Hygiene. The library of the National University, the National Library, and the National Museum are in Mogadishu.