Country of the World Tunisia

About the country Tunisia, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: In northern Africa due south of Sardinia, Tunisia is bounded on the north and east by the Mediterranean Sea, on the southeast by Libya, and on the west by Algeria. The kidney-shaped nation is bisected laterally by the Tunisia Dorsale, an extension of the Atlas Mountains. To the north are the fertile rain-soaked Tell region and most of the people; to the south is a parched plateau leading to the Sahara Desert.

Size: 63,378 sq. mi. (164,150 sq. km.).

Population: 6.1 million.

Who Rules: The Tunisian constitution confers broad powers on the president and limits the legislature to a very narrow role. The president can rule by decree when the legislature is not in session. A constitutional amendment adopted in November, 1974, made Habib Bourguiba president for life.

Who REALLY Rules: It is easy to spot the main street in any Tunisian community, large or small. Nearly all of them are named Avenue Habib Bourguiba. As Bourguiba, now in poor health, hangs on to power, there is increasing speculation about who will succeed the anticommunist ruler and what direction the country will take. In January, 1978, a general strike led to anti-Bourguiba demonstrations and the largest civil disorders since independence. Between 50 and 200 people were killed in clashes between police and protesters.

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