SOMALIA AT A GLANCE
Geographic Coordinates: 10 00 N, 49 00 E
Borders: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean
Population: 10,428,043 (July 2014 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Somali 85%, Bantu and other non-Somali 15% (including 30,000 Arabs)
WHY PEOPLE WERE FORCED TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES:
The new nation of Somalia was formed in 1960 from territories formerly controlled by Britain and Italy. In 1969 a coup resulted in repressive, authoritarian rule and the persecution, jailing, and torture of political dissidents. With this regime’s collapse in 1991 the country descended into turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy.
Political violence during this time drove thousands of people from their homes. The first refugees from Somalia were resettled in Vermont in 2003.
SOMALI BANTU IN VERMONT
Below: Excerpts from an interview with Mohamed Abdi, President of SBCAVT, discussing the organization and its goals.
Music of the Somali Bantu in Vermont: Music, Identity and Refugees, Thesis by Simeon Chapin, Tufts University, August 2007
The first known study of Somali Bantu music culture in the U.S., this thesis documents their music in relocation. Thesis submitted by Simeon Chapin, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Music (Ethnomusicology), Tufts University, August 2007.
GENERAL BACKGROUND RESOURCES ON THE SOMALI BANTU
Cultural Orientation Resource Center: The Somali-Bantu, February (A basic introduction to the people, history, and cultures of the Somali Bantu resettled from refugee camps in Somalia).
Somali-Bantu Association of America
National non-profit advocating on behalf of resettled Somali-Bantu people.