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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.
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.
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.
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.
During this period, due to the absence of a central government, Somalia was a "failed state", and residents returned to customary and religious law in most regions.
A few autonomous regions, including the Somaliland, Puntland, and Galmudug administrations, emerged in the north.
The early 2000s saw the creation of fledgling interim federal administrations.