Somalia Historical Timeline
1800s Indian Ocean slave trade brings East Africans to southern Somalia as slaves for agricultural
plantations and pastoralism. Italy and England each claim parts of Somali territory as colonies.
1903 Slave trade to southern Somalia ends.
1840-1950s Fugitive and freed slaves and ethnic minorities from the Shabelle River Valley move into
Jubba Valley villages to farm.
1960 Somalia gains independence.
1969 Siyad Barre takes over Somalia's government in a coup.
1977 Somalia attacks Ethiopia to reclaim Somali-inhabited territory controlled by Ethiopia and
is defeated. Somalia becomes a Cold War ally of the US.
1980s As a Cold War ally, Somalia becomes second largest recipient of US aid in Africa.
1990 The Cold War ends, and the US cuts aid to Somalia.
1991 Siyad Barre's government falls.
1992 Civil war engulfs the country. Militias attack sedentary farmers for labor and food. Thousands
flee to refugee camps in Kenya.
1992-3 The UN and the US intervene in civil war but fail to establish peace. The loss of 18 US
Rangers prompts the US to withdraw from the conflict.
1990s Minority farmer-refugees persecuted in refugee camps. Resettlement attempts in Tanzania and
Mozambique fail. The name "Somali Bantu" emerges as an umbrella term for agriculturalist ethnic
2000 The US agrees to grant Somali Bantus persecuted minority status and resettle 12,000 in the US. Somali Bantu
refugees begin to relocate to Kakuma refugee camp in 2002.
2001 Resettlement process freezes after 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.
2003 Somali Bantu refugees begin arriving in US.
2005 Somali Bantu refugees begin secondary resettlement in Maine.