Somalia borders Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. It was formed from the merger of former colonies of the United Kingdom and Italy which both gained independence in 1960. It was never a terribly rich country, but the civil war which started in 1991 has devastated the country and plunged much of it into famine. United Nations troops went in to try to calm things down and distribute food in 1992 but left in 1993. The southern half of the country is still being fought over. The northern half (the formerly British area) has a provisional government and is seeking to be recognized as a separate country, "the Republic of Somaliland."