Berbera (bûrˈbərə) [key], city (1985 est. pop. 67,000), N Somalia, a port on the Gulf of Aden. The city, which was first described in the 13th cent. by Arab geographers, was taken in 1875 by the rulers of Egypt; when they withdrew in 1884 to fight the Mahdi in Sudan, Britain took Berbera. It served until 1941 as the winter capital of British Somaliland was the site of a Soviet naval and missile base in the 1970s.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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