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In 1960, the two regions united to form the independent Somali Republic under a civilian government.
The Supreme Revolutionary Council seized power in 1969 and established the Somali Democratic Republic.
Somalis first came to London during World War IThey are the only people of Arab-African ethnicity Today, it is estimated, there are around 70,000 Somalis living in the capital, with the largest group of some 10,000 people, in Tower Hamlets.
Whilst a lot of Somalis came to London as asylum seekers, fleeing civil unrest in their country, many are second, third and even fourth generation Somalis.
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The Somali community made their prescence known in the capital as early as the 19th century.
It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest.
The pyramidal structures, temples and ancient houses of dressed stone littered around Somalia are said to date from this period.
They tended to settle in cities with ports, including Cardiff, Liverpool and London, where they put down roots in Tower Hamlets.
Accounts of the time show that many of these seamen only planned to stay in London long enough to make some money before returning to their families.
Led by Mohamed Siad Barre, this government later collapsed in 1991 as the Somali Civil War broke out.
Various armed factions began competing for influence in the power vacuum, particularly in the south.