Tunisia

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Tunisia is a country in North Africa, the smallest of the Maghreb region. It is bordered by Libya to the southeast and Algeria to the west and south. The north and east of the country is bordered by a long Mediterranean coastline. The majority of the population lives in the relatively humid and mountainous northern region, which is home to the capital, Tunis, also the chief port.

Tunisia has a long history of invasion by foreign powers, who prized its ease of access to the Mediterranean. The most recent was France, from which Tunisia gained independence in 1956. Post-independence politics was dominated by Habib Bourguiba, the first President of Tunisia, who ruled until 1987 when succeeded by Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Ongoing concerns about poor social conditions and a lack of political freedom in Tunisia led to widespread demonstrations against the government beginning December 2010, which in turn led to the dissolution of parliament and resignation of President Ben Ali in January 2011. The protest movement was the first of what would become known as the Arab Spring.

Geography and climate

The northern part of the country, home to most of Tunisias roughly 10 million population[1], is dominated by the eastern folds of the Atlas mountain range and the north enjoys a Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and warm, wet winters. A combination of low rainfall and overgrazing has meant that only the most inaccessible mountains of the north still retain forests, largely of cork oak and evergreen oak. The geography of Tunisia transitions through the semi-arid and low-lying central regions to the dry Saharan areas of the south where rainfall averages less than 20cm annually.

References

  1. un.org - United Nations statistics page for Tunisia