|Area Total||163,610 sq km|
|Climate||temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in south|
|Natural Resources||petroleum, phosphates, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt|
|Imports||Italy 15.8%, France 15.1%, China 9.2%, Germany 8.1%, Turkey 4.8%, Algeria 4.7%, Spain 4.5% (2017) – textiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, foodstuffs|
|Exports||France 32.1%, Italy 17.3%, Germany 12.4% (2017) – clothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, electrical equipment|
|Population||11,516,189 (July 2018 est.)|
|Ethnicity||Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%|
|Language||Arabic (official, one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce), Berber (Tamazight)|
News about Tunisia
Man can drop part of name denoting slave ancestry, Tunisian court rules
by Reuters in Tunis on October 16, 2020
Case expected to open door for others wanting to drop ‘atig’ or ‘liberated by’ from their nameA court in Tunisia has allowed an 81-year-old man to remove a word from his name that marked him out as descended from slaves, in the country’s first ruling of its kind, his lawyer has said.Tunisia abolished slavery in 1846, but critics say it has not […]
Tunisia president calls for return of death penalty following brutal killing
by Simon Speakman Cordall in Tunis on October 1, 2020
Human rights campaigners warn reinstating capital punishment ‘would be a huge step backwards’, as attack on young woman reignites debateThe brutal killing of a young woman has reignited a debate in Tunisia over capital punishment, with the country’s president suggesting an end to a decades-old moratorium on the death penalty.President Kais Saied told […]
How Tunisia’s shrinking economy and fish stocks put shark on the menu
by Simon Speakman Cordall in Monastir on September 28, 2020
A lack of awareness and ever-increasing competition among fishing boats threaten one of the sea’s most vital speciesThe temperature is cooling down in the fish market in Monastir, Tunisia. Still, the suffocating smell of the fish guts that have sat through the full force of the day’s heat hangs heavy in the air. The stallholders have left now, but on […]
Tunisian National Guard officer, three assailants dead in Sousse knife attack
by Michael Fitzpatrick on September 6, 2020
Attackers with knives killed a Tunisian National Guard officer and wounded another on Sunday before three assailants were shot dead, the National Guard said, labelling the assault a "terrorist attack".
Italy braces for 'Tunisian Time Bomb' as thousand flee economic hardship
by Sabina Castelfranco on August 13, 2020
Italians refer to it as the “time bomb”: in parts of Tunisia, unemployment has reached 35 percent as the country experiences its worst recession since independence in 1956, which has led to thousands of young men attempting daily crossings of the Mediterranean hoping to reach Italy in search of a better life.
'Entire families are arriving at our shores': Covid drives Tunisian exodus
by Simon Speakman Cordall in Zarzis and Lorenzo Tondo in Sicily on August 12, 2020
Italy is facing an influx of people trafficked on fishing boats, desperate to escape Tunisia’s deepening economic crisisUnsurprisingly for a coastal town perched upon Tunisia’s border with Libya, it’s hot when Ahmed climbs into the back of the car outside the petrol station in Zarzis.It’s clear from the outset he feels uncomfortable talking to a […]
Gisèle Halimi, trailblazing French feminist MP and lawyer, dies aged 93
by Kim Willsher in Paris on July 29, 2020
Instrumental in decriminalising abortion in France, Halimi spent her life fighting for women’s rightsThe Tunisian-born French feminist MP and lawyer Gisèle Halimi, described as a “trailblazer” and a “rebel”, has died one day after her 93rd birthday.Halimi was instrumental in the decriminalisation of abortion in France and spent her life fighting […]
Gisèle Halimi, trailblazing French feminist, dies at 93
by RFI on July 28, 2020
Tunisian-born French feminist and lawyer Gisele Halimi died on Tuesday, a day after her 93rd birthday. Halimi devoted her life to defending women's rights and was instrumental in the decriminalisation of abortions in France.
Tunisian Interior Minister named PM amid hopes of ending political crisis
by RFI on July 26, 2020
Tunisian Interior Minister Hichem Mechichi has been appointed Prime Minister and asked to form government in an effort to resolve the country’s political crisis.
At least 61 people dead as migrant boat sinks off Tunisia
by Lorenzo Tondo in Palermo on June 13, 2020
Boat carrying dozens of people trying to reach Italy sank last week, reports sayAt least 61 people have died after a boat carrying dozens of people sank last week off the coast of Tunisia, according to local officials. According to an initial reconstruction of events, the boat, carrying people mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, had left the Tunisian coast […]
Facebook deactivates accounts of Tunisian political bloggers and activists
by Simon Speakman Cordall in Tunis on June 4, 2020
Several accounts reactivated after protests with social media giant blaming ‘technical error’The Facebook accounts of several high-profile bloggers and activists in Tunisia were among those deactivated without warning over the weekend.Up to 60 accounts are understood to have been deactivated, including that of journalist and political […]
Tunisia's sea turtles are beating the odds as they inch towards survival
by Simon Speakman Cordall in Tunis on May 31, 2020
Despite the threats posed by fishing gear, warmer seas and plastic, loggerheads on Kuriat Island are making a comebackYears of marine conservation efforts throughout the Mediterranean are beginning to pay dividends in Tunisia, with activists expecting a further increase in the number of sea turtles visiting the country’s beaches to build their nests this […]
Racist slurs by French police captured on video, investigation underway
by Zeenat Hansrod on April 27, 2020
French policemen are under investigation over allegations of racially insulting a man after arresting him in Paris’ north-eastern Seine-Saint-Denis suburb. The French Interior minister said racism will not be tolerated within the police force.
'We have nothing': as lockdown bites, migrants in Tunisia feel the pinch
by Simon Speakman Cordall in Tunis on April 16, 2020
With Covid-19 yet to spread widely, business closures are already causing hardship for people dependent on casual workCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFrom 6pm to 6am, the security services enforce the curfew. Like most other countries in the world, Tunisia remains in lockdown.At all other times, tight restrictions on public […]
'Show me your ID': Tunisia deploys 'robocop' to enforce coronavirus lockdown
by Agence France Presse on April 4, 2020
A police robot is patrolling the streets of the capital calling out suspected violators of the lockdownCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageTunisia’s interior ministry has sent a police robot to patrol the streets of the capital and enforce a lockdown imposed last month as the country battles the spread of coronavirus.Known as […]
Tunisia: Police officer killed in attack against US embassy
by RFI on March 6, 2020
A suicide attack hit the US embassy in Tunis on Friday with two attackers and one police officer killed. The explosion marked the most serious assault the Tunisian capital has seen in months.
Tunisia suicide attack kills one police officer and injures five others
by Reuters in Tunis on March 6, 2020
Interior ministry says two attackers blew themselves up near US embassy in capital, TunisTwo attackers on a motorbike blew themselves up outside the US embassy in Tunisia on Friday, killing a policeman and injuring several others in the country’s most serious attack in months.The explosion took place near the embassy’s main gate, where a scorched, […]
Why are Tunisian youth turning to suicide?
by Alessandra Bajec on February 28, 2020
An increasing number of Tunisian children and adolescents are taking their own lives. Suicides in the north African country tell a desperate story of the hardships Tunisian society is going through, whether financial, social, or psychological.
Paris Live, Friday 28 February 2020
by RFI on February 28, 2020
In today's Paris Live, our correspondent in Hong Kong fills us in on why media tycoon and high profile critic of Beijing Jimmy Lai was arrested on Friday and gives us an update on the coronavirus. Authorities announced that all pets of people infected with the virus must be quarantined, with one dog already in isolation.
Palestinians shelve plan for UN vote on Trump's Middle East plan
by Patrick Wintour and Oliver Holmes on February 11, 2020
Palestinian president uses speaking slot to rail against Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan Palestinian-backed plans for a UN security council vote designed to show international opposition to Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan have been shelved after the US and the UK raised separate objections to the draft text.In what was seen as a key test of […]