Tunisia, officially the Tunisian Republic, is the northernmost country in Africa. It is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and Mediterranean Sea to the north and east.

Today Tunisia is an export-oriented country, in the process of liberalizing its economy while, politically it is a dictatorship in all but name. Tunisia has an authoritarian regime in the guise of a procedural democracy led by Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who has governed as President since 1987 and has systematically diminished freedom of press and political pluralism while keeping appearances of democracy.

Tunisia has close relations with both the European Union — with whom it has an association agreement — and the Arab world. Tunisia is also a member of the Arab League and the African union. The regime's claimed success in oppressing political Islam and its pro-western foreign policy, has protected it from criticism for its lack of democratic accountability and its violations of human rights and freedom of press. France, the former colonial power, lends support to the regime in exchange for which Tunisia in large part aligns its economic and foreign policies with those of France.

Every year numerous Tunisians attempt illegal immigration to European countries like Italy by sea.


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