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Mogadishu, known locally as Xamar, is the largest city in Somalia and the nation's capital. Located in the coastal Banaadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries. As of 2009, it had a population of 1,353,000 residents.Tradition and old records assert that southern Somalia, including the Mogadishu area, was historically inhabited by hunter-gatherers of Khoisan descent. These were later joined by Cushitic agro-pastoralists, who would go on to establish local aristocracies. Starting in the late 9th or 10th centuries, Arab and Persian traders also began to settle in the region. The city later became the capital of Italian Somaliland in the colonial period. Post-independence, it was known and promoted as the White Pearl of the Indian Ocean. After the ousting of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 and the ensuing civil war, various militias fought for control of the city, later to be replaced by the Islamic Courts Union. The ICU thereafter splintered into more radical groups, notably Al-Shabaab, which fought the Transitional Federal Government and its AMISOM allies. With a change in administration in late 2010, government troops and their military partners had succeeded in forcing out Al-Shabaab by August 2011. Mogadishu has subsequently experienced a period of intense reconstruction.As Somalia's capital city, many of the important national institutions are based in the city. The Federal Government of Somalia was established on 20 August 2012, and the Federal Parliament of Somalia serves as the government's legislative branch. Mogadishu's municipal government is currently led by Mayor Hassan Mohamed Hussein Mungab, a former military court chairman. Villa Somalia is the official residential palace and principal workplace of the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. In May 2012, the First Somali Bank was established in the capital, which organized Mogadishu's first ever Technology, Entertainment, Design conference. The establishment of a local construction yard has also galvanized the city's real estate sector. Arba'a Rukun Mosque is one of the oldest Islamic places of worship in the capital, built circa 667. The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity in Mogadishu is also the largest masjid in the Horn region. Mogadishu Cathedral was built in 1928 by the colonial authorities in Italian Somaliland in a Norman Gothic style, and served as the traditional seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mogadiscio. Additionally, the National Museum of Somalia is based in Mogadishu and holds many culturally important artefacts. The National Library of Somalia is also undergoing a $1 million Somali federal government funded renovation, including a new library complex.Mogadishu is home to a number of scholastic and media institutions. As part of the government's urban renewal program, 100 schools across the capital are scheduled to be refurbished and reopened. The Somali National University was established in the 1950s, and professors from the university later founded the non-governmental Mogadishu University Benadir University was established in 2002 with the intention of training doctors. Various national sporting bodies also have their headquarters in Mogadishu including the Somali Football Federation and Somali Olympic Committee. Mogadishu Stadium was constructed in 1978 during the Siad Barre administration, with the assistance of Chinese engineers. It hosts football matches with teams from the Somalia League and the Somalia Cup. The Port of Mogadishu serves as a major national seaport and is the largest harbour in the country. The Mogadishu International Airport is the capital's main airport, and is the hub of the relaunched national carrier Somali Airlines.

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Population2.59 Million

Area1657.0 km2

Average temperature
MAX(April) 32
MIN(January) 23
Other cities in Somalia