In the late 19th century, through a succession of treaties with these kingdoms, the British and Italian empires gained control of parts of the coast and established the colonies of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland.
Italy acquired full control of the northeastern, central and southern parts of the area after successfully waging the so-called Campaign of the Sultanates against the ruling Majeerteen Sultanate and Sultanate of Hobyo.
Find out what the word Somali means, who the Fortune Men were and how the emerging generation of this community are contributing to London life.
The name "Somali" comes from a word meaning "milk the animal" and relates to the peoples’ nomadic farming tradition.
There are records of Somalis in London dating back to 1914, when they were recruited to fight in the First World War and then settled in the capital.
This first group was followed by a continuous trickle, many of whom came over as merchant seamen.
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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.The ancient Puntites were a nation of people that had close relations with Pharaonic Egypt during the times of Pharaoh Sahure and Queen Hatshepsut.The pyramidal structures, temples and ancient houses of dressed stone littered around Somalia are said to date from this period.Italian occupation lasted until 1941, yielding to British military administration.British Somaliland would remain a protectorate, while Italian Somaliland in 1949 became a United Nations Trusteeship under Italian administration, the Trust Territory of Somaliland.