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country named for the indigenous Somali people, whose name (attested in English by 1814) is of unknown origin.
Note: Britain, France, and Italy established protectorates in the area in the late 1880s. Somalia gained independence in 1960.
Note: Civil war and famine have recently ravaged the country. In 1992, the United States embarked on a humanitarian intervention designed to ensure delivery of food supplies to the population. After American troops were drawn into a conflict between local warlords and suffered casualties, the United States withdrew from Somalia in 1994. The country currently lacks any central government.