Somalia is a country in the Horn of Africa. In ancient times Somalia was a trading hub. At the end of the 19th century it was colonised by Britain and Italy. Somalia regained its independence in 1960. The military under general Siad Barre seized power in 1969. Siad Barre unsuccessfully tried to root out the country's clan system. In 1991 he was overthrown. The country has been without a functioning government ever since.