Somalia is a country that tends unfortunately to be associated with famine and civil war, rather than anything more positive, for that is how it most often appears in the Western media. It is also a country about which many Muslims know little; many may not even realize that it is a Muslim country.
The agreement reached on June 22 at Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, by Somalia's nominal transitional government and the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) – which is in control of the capital,Mogadishu, and most of southern Somalia – has been hailed as a first step towards the restoration of peace, tranquillity and unity to the violence-ridden "failed state".
Somalis have one language, one religion (Islam), and constitute a single ethnic group, and should not have found great – let alone insurmountable – difficulties in being united and living in peace together. Yet their country is in ruins, split into Somaliland, a former British protectorate in the north, and Somalia, a former Italian colony, in the south.