Tunisia is a country in Northern Africa, between the former nation of Libya and the Algerian city-states. It has only recently became free again following a long Sicilian occupation.
The history of human culture in Tunisia goes back thousands of years. From there, farming spread to the Maghreb by about 4000 BC. The humid coastal plains of central Tunisia were home to the early agricultural communities populated by the ancestors of the Berber tribes. Its coast was settled by Phoenicians starting as early as the 10th century BC, founding the city of Carthage in the 9th century BC. After a series of wars with Greek city-states of Sicily in the 5th century BC, Carthage rose to power and eventually became the dominant civilization in the Western Mediterranean. Carthage was eventually conquered by Rome, after a series of wars, in the 2nd century BC. It was conquered by the Vandals in the 5th century AD and reconquered by the commander Belisarius in the 6th century.
Around the end of the 7th century and the beginning of 8th century the region was conquered by Arab Muslims. Successive Muslim dynasties ruled Tunisia afterwards, with occasional instabilities caused mainly by Berber rebellions. The coasts were held briefly by the Normans of Sicily in the 12th century, and the following Arab reconquest made the last Christians in Tunisia disappear. In 1159, Tunisia was conquered by the Almohad caliphs. They were succeeded by the Berber Hafsids, under whom Tunisia prospered. In the late 16th century the coast became a pirate stronghold. In the last years of the Hafsids, Spain seized many of the coastal cities, but these were recovered by the Ottoman Empire. Under its Turkish governors, the Beys, Tunisia attained virtual independence. The Hussein dynasty of Beys, established in 1705, lasted until 1957.
In 1881, using the pretext of a Tunisian incursion into Algeria, the French invaded with an army of about 36,000 and forced the Bey to agree to the terms of the 1881 Treaty of Bardo - with this treaty, Tunisia was officially made a French protectorate, over the objections of Italy. In 1942–1943, Tunisia was the scene of a major operation by the Allied Forces against the Axis Powers during World War II, resulting in an Allied victory despite the setback at the Kasserine Pass. Tunisia's independence from France in 1956 ended the protectorate established in 1881. President Habib Ali Bourguiba, who had been the leader of the independence movement, declared Tunisia a republic in 1957, ending the nominal rule of the Ottoman Beys.
Progress toward full democracy was slow. Over the years, President Bourguiba stood unopposed for re-election several times and was named "President for Life" in 1974 by a constitutional amendment. At the time of independence, the Neo-Destourian Party became the sole legal party. Opposition parties were banned until 1981.
Like most of Africa, Tunisia was not directly affected by Doomsday. It did, however, suffer the same instability troubles most other African nations did. While the Republic managed to remain stable, in the end, it was also severely weakened - which would be its downfall.
The military had to but down several uprisings near the Algerian border, as well as combat refugees from both Libya and Algeria trying to enter the republic shortly after the events of Doomsday. Riots due to a six-year refusal to hold elections did not help matters, ending only with fresh elections in 1989 - which, if anyone had been around to observe them, would have been called fraudulent. The President won an easy victory, despite having removed his predecessor from power as he was "mentally unfit" the year before.
In the process of maintaining control, however, much of the heavier equipment possessed by the military was heavily damaged, and much of their ammunition for their more modern weaponry was severely depleted.
By 1990, the situation had managed to stabilize somewhat, and the republic was no longer in immediate danger of falling. However, at the same time, Sicilian merchants, arriving in Tunis after stopping at the island of Malta, began to trade with the region, and making demands on the President and his government that were considered completely unreasonable. Obviously, they were refused.
By this time, lakes in southern Tunisia, previously only filled - and with salt water at that - in the rainy season, begin to retain water dropped in them year-round. Efforts slowly began to settle the area, though it was slow as the country was poor.
On May 5th, 2004, Sicilian forces launched a surprise invasion of the republic just after midnight, landing north of the capital with a heavy battalion, backed by naval vessels, and later on, even more soldiers. Taking the weak forces of the government by surprise, they were able to secure the city with relative ease, sweeping the light forces before them and destroying the two remaining craft of the Tunisian Navy. With their command center taken, the president captured, and the rest of the military in disarray, many members of the military surrendered. Others would fight on, until the remnants of the government surrendered at Gabes on the 18th, after their retreat into Greek territory was blocked by Sicilian units. It is unknown even today what happened to these prisoners for the most part, except that some were viewed getting into Sicilian shipping at Tunis, which then sailed northwards - likely to Sicily - but none have been heard from since.
Aside from the bureaucracy - and not even all of that - all members of the government were put to the axe, with even more special treatment being reserved for the President, and their bodies thrown into the harbor at Tunis. Their families are known to have joined the prisoners, though no clues as to their fate are known at all. All of the senior-most members of the old royal family, long dethroned, were also executed, in what was to eventually be a major mistake - the members farther along in the line of succession were left alive.
Elements of the military who had not surrendered, and had merely melted back into the population, began to organize soon after the invasion. After a few attacks had been carried out by this resistance in late 2004, the Sicilians cracked down - and hard. The still-organizing networks of resistance were largely nipped off at the head, as they had only barely attempted to have any secrecy.
Immensely unhappy at the loss of many of their number, the remnants of the Tunisian Royal Family began to conspire amongst themselves. After excluding their weaker family members - susceptible to being turned by the Sicilians - they decided to organize, establishing the Tunisian Freedom Army. While not the senior-most member left alive, leadership of the organization - and quickly enough, all of the royal family - devolved to Prince Muhammad Bey, who proved to have more of mind for the organizing.
Within a year, the family had established an organization made up of organized cells, with no easy trace back to them. Using what resources were available to them, this organization, after taking over or eliminating the remnants of the first networks of resistance, began to conduct small-scale operations against the Sicilians. While accomplishing little, these operations did annoy them somewhat, causing them to retaliate against the civilian population.
This brought them to the attention of those in opposition to the Sicilians, namely the Greeks. A spy of theirs made contact with one of the lower-level groups, letting them know that they wished to help. This was slowly passed up the chain of command, until the family received word of it. Using the network, the spy was abducted several times, and checked out repeatedly, on each occasion making his way closer to the commanders, until the guards employed by the royal family picked him up and snuck him into the palace. After meeting with the royals, he was smuggled out of the area, and across the Algerian border, using the same methods, from which he was then transported to Skyros. The Greek government agreed to supply them with small amounts of supplies, in order to keep it hidden, which would be taken by camel in secret across the Sahara in the south of Algeria. This information was sent to the group he had originally made contact with, and from there upwards, along with a location for supply drops, as well as a coded signal and radio, for signaling.
The supplies, first received in late 2007, allowed a jump in activity by the organization, causing more deaths on both sides, and a headache for the Sicilians, though they never could figure out who was in charge.
With the start of of the Second Sicily War in 2009, these supplies were cut off temporarily. However, by the start of 2010 supplies had begun to be airdropped, along with a small number of advisors for their forces. These forces made the life of the garrison troops miserable, which did not help the morale of the troops fighting the Greeks to the east, and helped to limit their supplies as well.
This sparked an even bigger crackdown, larger than any ever undertaken before. Several lower-level cells were compromised, and though this did not lead anyone to them, the royal family, after learning that their execution was being debated by the occupation authorities through their spies, moved underground, where they would remain until the uprising occurred in earnest.
The TFA was kept fairly up to date on Operation Crescent Star, the planned invasion of the region, in which their part would be a massive uprising. On September 15th, their attacks on Sicilian targets suddenly increased dramatically in their size and scope, and cells start to launch uprisings in many cities, eventually freeing several of them with support from the general populace, largely in central Tunisia, away from the better defended coastal supply lines. The Royal compound was also surrounded by a wall of rebels, and the royal family returned there, taking command.
By the 18th, several of the rebel-attacked cities had fallen. However, it was also the day that the ADC landed at the town of Tabaka, sparking even more uprisings. Within two days, the royal compound had been relieved, and the Tunisian rebels joined the advance. Many died, but their aid was greatly appreciated. The royal family, now openly the leaders of the resistance, began to organize a government at Tabaka, with the ADC, in early October.
With the end of the war in December, and the evacuation of the last Sicilian troops from Tunis, the Royal family moved to their palace there, and began to take up the mantle of government, under the watchful eye of ADC Commissioners. The royal coat of arms and a variation of the old royal flag are adopted as the state symbols of the fledgling nation as well.
On December 21st, 2011, a ceremony was held in Tunis, which officially ended the mandate, though not the support and aid of the ADC. The Beylerbey was crowned by a group of imams, as well as the Catholic Bishop of Tunis, King of Tunisia, as Muhammad IX, at the same time. The new king then named the leader of the underground movement in the city of Sousse, Slim Amamou, as his Prime Minister, and announced that elections would be held on July 24th, 2012. The Commissioner, along with the deputy from Spain, both remained behind to be the new ambassadors for their respective countries, while the deputy from Kapylie returned home to run for political office. As per their agreements with the then-Prince at the end of the war, the government was also admitted to the ADC.
Government and Politics
Tunisia is ruled by the King of Tunisia, a constitutional monarch. The government is headed by a Prime Minister, and following elections they became the leader of a National Assembly.
Most government positions are held by former members of the Tunisian Freedom Army.
On February 11th, 2012, the TFA leadership, led by Prime Minister Amamou, formally announced the creation of their political party, the name of which roughly translates into "Swords for Tunisia" in English. It is expected that it will be largely a more left-oriented, though monarchist, party, given the largely TFA membership and their fight against the Sicilians.
The first elections in decades were held on July 24th, 2012. As expected, Prime Minister Amamou's party won a majority, gaining 85 seats in the 114 member National Assembly. Three of the remaining seats were won by independents, with the remainder being split between the Republican Party, the Islamist Renaissance Party, and conservative National Front Party.
One of the things the Assembly will be undertaking will be the writing of a new Constitution.
The next elections have been provisionally scheduled to occur on July 25th, 2016.
Primarily, the country participates in farming, and in fishing. The remains of the petroleum industry , and the large amount of textile plants, are also important. With the rebuilding of the nation, it is expected that construction, and related industries, will be soon taking off.
Many nations have re-established diplomatic offices in Tunisia since it was liberated, and their consuls or ambassadors have now taken up residence in Tunis. More are expected in the near future.
The government has also established offices in several nearby nations.
The Kingdom is a member of the Atlantic Defense Community, and has applied for membership in the League of Nations.