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Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 10 (1999 est.)

@French Polynesia:Military

Military branches: French Forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force),
Gendarmerie

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of France

@French Polynesia:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

______________________________________________________________________



FRENCH SOUTHERN AND

______________________________________________________________________



GABON

@Gabon:Introduction

Background: Ruled by autocratic presidents since independence from
France in 1960, Gabon introduced a multiparty system and a new
constitution in the early 1990s that allowed for a more transparent
electoral process and for reforms of governmental institutions. A
small population, abundant natural resources, and foreign private
investment have helped make Gabon one of the more prosperous black
African countries.

@Gabon:Geography

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator,
between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea

Geographic coordinates: 1 00 S, 11 45 E

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 267,667 sq km
land: 257,667 sq km
water: 10,000 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Colorado

Land boundaries:
total: 2,551 km
border countries: Cameroon 298 km, Republic of the Congo 1,903 km,
Equatorial Guinea 350 km

Coastline: 885 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; always hot, humid

Terrain: narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and
south

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Iboundji 1,575 m

Natural resources: petroleum, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron
ore, hydropower

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 18%
forests and woodland: 77%
other: 3% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 40 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: deforestation; poaching

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

@Gabon:People

Population: 1,208,436
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the
effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life
expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population
and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age
and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 33% (male 201,737; female 200,764)
15-64 years: 61% (male 371,359; female 364,982)
65 years and over: 6% (male 34,478; female 35,116) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.08% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 27.6 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 16.83 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 96.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 50.08 years
male: 48.94 years
female: 51.26 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.73 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Gabonese (singular and plural)
adjective: Gabonese

Ethnic groups: Bantu tribes including four major tribal groupings
(Fang, Eshira, Bapounou, Bateke), other Africans and Europeans
154,000, including 6,000 French and 11,000 persons of dual nationality

Religions: Christian 55%-75%, Muslim less than 1%, animist

Languages: French (official), Fang, Myene, Bateke, Bapounou/Eschira,
Bandjabi

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 63.2%
male: 73.7%
female: 53.3% (1995 est.)

@Gabon:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Gabonese Republic
conventional short form: Gabon
local long form: Republique Gabonaise
local short form: Gabon

Data code: GB

Government type: republic; multiparty presidential regime (opposition
parties legalized in 1990)

Capital: Libreville

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Estuaire, Haut-Ogooue,
Moyen-Ogooue, Ngounie, Nyanga, Ogooue-Ivindo, Ogooue-Lolo,
Ogooue-Maritime, Woleu-Ntem

Independence: 17 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day, 17 August (1960) (Gabon granted
full independence from France)

Constitution: adopted 14 March 1991

Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law;
judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of the
Supreme Court; compulsory ICJ jurisdiction not accepted

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President El Hadj Omar BONGO (since 2 December 1967)
head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Francois NTOUTOUME-EMANE
(since 23 January 1999)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in
consultation with the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term;
election last held 6 December 1998 (next to be held NA 2005); prime
minister appointed by the president
election results: President El Hadj Omar BONGO reelected; percent of
vote - El Hadj Omar BONGO 66.6%, Pierre MAMBOUNDOU 16.5%, Fr. Paul
M'BA-ABESSOLE 13.4%

Legislative branch: bicameral legislature consists of the Senate (91
seats) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (120 seats);
members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms
elections: National Assembly - last held 15 and 29 December 1996 (next
to be held NA December 2001); Senate - last held 26 January and 9
February 1997 (next to be held in January 2002)
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA;
seats by party - PDG 89, PGP 9, RNB 6, CLR 3, UPG 2, USG 2,
independents 4, others 5; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA;
seats by party - PDG 53, RNB 20, PGP 4, ADERE 3, RDP 1, CLR 1,
independents 9

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme consisting of three
chambers - Judicial, Administrative, and Accounts; Constitutional
Court; Courts of Appeal; Court of State Security; County Courts

Political parties and leaders: African Forum for Reconstruction or FAR
; Circle of Liberal Reformers or CLR [General Jean Boniface
ASSELE]; Democratic and Republican Alliance or ADERE
; Gabonese Democratic Party or PDG, former
sole party ; Gabonese
Party for Progress or PGP ;
Gabonese People's Union or UPG ; Gabonese Socialist
Union or USG ; National Rally of Woodcutters (Bucherons) or
RNB ; People's Unity Party or PUP [Louis
Gaston MAYILA]; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP ;
Social Democratic Party or PSD

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, CCC,
CEEAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IDB,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat,
Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UDEAC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Paul BOUNDOUKOU-LATHA
chancery: Suite 200, 2034 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: (202) 797-1000
FAX: (202) 332-0668
consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James V. LEDESMA
embassy: Boulevard de la Mer, Libreville
mailing address: B. P. 4000, Libreville
telephone: 76 20 03 through 76 20 04, 74 34 92
FAX: 74 55 07

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow,
and blue

@Gabon:Economy

Economy - overview: Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that
of most nations of sub-Saharan Africa. This has supported a sharp
decline in extreme poverty; yet because of high income inequality a
large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon depended on
timber and manganese until oil was discovered offshore in the early
1970s. The oil sector now accounts for 50% of GDP. Gabon continues to
face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, manganese, and uranium
exports. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, the economy is
hobbled by poor fiscal management. In 1992, the fiscal deficit widened
to 2.4% of GDP, and Gabon failed to settle arrears on its bilateral
debt, leading to a cancellation of rescheduling agreements with
official and private creditors. Devaluation of its Francophone
currency by 50% on 12 January 1994 sparked a one-time inflationary
surge, to 35%; the rate dropped to 6% in 1996. The IMF provided a
one-year standby arrangement in 1994-95 and a three-year Enhanced
Financing Facility (EFF) at near commercial rates beginning in late
1995. Those agreements mandate progress in privatization and fiscal
discipline. France provided additional financial support in January
1997 after Gabon had met IMF targets for mid-1996. In 1997, an IMF
mission to Gabon criticized the government for overspending on
off-budget items, overborrowing from the central bank, and slipping on
its schedule for privatization and administrative reform. The rebound
of oil prices in 1999 helped growth, but drops in production hampered
Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. With support from higher
oil prices, growth will move up in 2000-01.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $7.9 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.7% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,500 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 60%
services: 30% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.9% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 600,000

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 60%, services and government
25%, industry and commerce 15%

Unemployment rate: 21% (1997 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1.5 billion
expenditures: $1.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $302
million (1996 est.)

Industries: food and beverage; textile; lumbering and plywood; cement;
petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, uranium, and gold
mining; chemicals; ship repair

Industrial production growth rate: 2.3% (1995)

Electricity - production: 1.025 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 27.8%
hydro: 72.2%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 953 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber;
cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish

Exports: $2.4 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: crude oil 75%, timber, manganese, uranium
(1998)

Exports - partners: US 68%, China 9%, France 8%, Japan 3% (1998)

Imports: $1.2 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals,
petroleum products, construction materials

Imports - partners: France 39%, US 6%, Cameroon 5%, Netherlands 5%,
Cote d'Ivoire, Japan (1998)

Debt - external: $4.6 billion (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $331 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100
centimes

Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (CFAF) per US$1
- 647.25 (January 2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997),
511.55 (1996), 499.15 (1995)
note: since 1 January 1999, the CFAF is pegged to the euro at a rate
of 655.957 CFA francs per euro

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Gabon:Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 32,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 4,000 (1995)

Telephone system:
domestic: adequate system of cable, microwave radio relay,
tropospheric scatter, radiotelephone communication stations, and a
domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 6, FM 7, shortwave 6 (1998)

Radios: 208,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 4 (plus five low-power repeaters)
(1997)

Televisions: 63,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (1999)

@Gabon:Transportation

Railways:
total: 649 km (Gabon State Railways or OCTRA)
standard gauge: 649 km 1.435-m gauge; single track (1994)

Highways:
total: 7,670 km
paved: 629 km (including 30 km of expressways)
unpaved: 7,041 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 1,600 km perennially navigable

Pipelines: crude oil 270 km; petroleum products 14 km

Ports and harbors: Cap Lopez, Kango, Lambarene, Libreville, Mayumba,
Owendo, Port-Gentil

Merchant marine:
total: 1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,419 GRT/3,205 DWT
ships by type: cargo 1 (1999 est.)

Airports: 61 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 50
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 25 (1999 est.)

@Gabon:Military

Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Republican Guard (charged
with protecting the president and other senior officials), National
Gendarmerie, National Police

Military manpower - military age: 20 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 278,251 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 143,278 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 11,291 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $91 million (FY96)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.6% (FY96)

@Gabon:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: maritime boundary dispute with Equatorial
Guinea because of disputed sovereignty over islands in Corisco Bay

______________________________________________________________________



GAMBIA

______________________________________________________________________



GAZA STRIP

@Gaza Strip:Introduction

Background: The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim
Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP), signed in Washington on 13
September 1993, provides for a transitional period not exceeding five
years of Palestinian interim self-government in the Gaza Strip and the
West Bank. Under the DOP, Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and
responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority, which includes a
Palestinian Legislative Council elected in January 1996, as part of
interim self-governing arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A
transfer of powers and responsibilities for the Gaza Strip and Jericho
took place pursuant to the Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement on
the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area and in additional areas of the
West Bank pursuant to the Israel-PLO 28 September 1995 Interim
Agreement, the Israel-PLO 15 January 1997 Protocol Concerning
Redeployment in Hebron, the Israel-PLO 23 October 1998 Wye River
Memorandum, and the 4 September 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement. The
DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during the
transitional period for external security and for internal security
and public order of settlements and Israeli citizens. Permanent status
is to be determined through direct negotiations, which resumed in
September 1999 after a three-year hiatus.

@Gaza Strip:Geography

Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt
and Israel

Geographic coordinates: 31 25 N, 34 20 E

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 360 sq km
land: 360 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Washington,
DC

Land boundaries:
total: 62 km
border countries: Egypt 11 km, Israel 51 km

Coastline: 40 km

Maritime claims: Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the
Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be
determined through further negotiation

Climate: temperate, mild winters, dry and warm to hot summers

Terrain: flat to rolling, sand- and dune-covered coastal plain

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Auda) 105 m

Natural resources: arable land

Land use:
arable land: 24%
permanent crops: 39%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 11%
other: 26% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 120 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: desertification; salination of fresh
water; sewage treatment

Geography - note: there are 24 Israeli settlements and civilian land
use sites in the Gaza Strip (August 1999 est.)

@Gaza Strip:People

Population: 1,132,063
note: in addition, there are some 6,500 Israeli settlers in the Gaza
Strip (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 50% (male 289,954; female 275,628)
15-64 years: 47% (male 271,365; female 263,197)
65 years and over: 3% (male 13,792; female 18,127) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.97% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 43.14 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 4.31 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.83 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 25.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.82 years
male: 69.58 years
female: 72.11 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.55 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: NA
adjective: NA

Ethnic groups: Palestinian Arab and other 99.4%, Jewish 0.6%

Religions: Muslim (predominantly Sunni) 98.7%, Christian 0.7%, Jewish
0.6%

Languages: Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many
Palestinians), English (widely understood)

Literacy:
definition: NA
total population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%

@Gaza Strip:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Gaza Strip
local long form: none
local short form: Qita Ghazzah

Data code: GZ

@Gaza Strip:Economy

Economy - overview: Economic conditions in the Gaza Strip - under the
responsibility of the Palestinian Authority since the Cairo Agreement
of May 1994 - have deteriorated since the early 1990s. Real per capita
GDP for the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBGS) declined 36% between 1992
and 1996 owing to the combined effect of falling aggregate incomes and
robust population growth. The downturn in economic activity was
largely the result of Israeli closure policies - the imposition of
generalized border closures in response to security incidents in
Israel - which disrupted previously established labor and commodity
market relationships between Israel and the WBGS. The most serious
negative social effect of this downturn has been the emergence of
chronic unemployment; average unemployment rates in the WBGS during
the 1980s were generally under 5%; by the mid-1990s this level had
risen to over 20%. Since 1997 Israel's use of comprehensive closures
has decreased and, in 1998, Israel implemented new policies to reduce
the impact of closures and other security procedures on the movement
of Palestinian goods and labor. In October 1999, Israel permitted the
opening of a safe passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in
accordance with the 1995 Interim Agreement. These changes to the
conduct of economic activity have fueled a moderate economic recovery
in 1998-99.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.17 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4.6% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,060 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 33%
industry: 25%
services: 42% (1995 est., includes West Bank)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (includes West Bank) (1999 est.)

Labor force: NA

Labor force - by occupation: services 66%, industry 21%, agriculture
13% (1996)

Unemployment rate: 14.5% (includes West Bank) (1998 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1.6 billion
expenditures: $1.73 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA
note: includes West Bank (1999 est.)

Industries: generally small family businesses that produce textiles,
soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; the Israelis
have established some small-scale modern industries in an industrial
center

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - consumption: NA kWh

Electricity - imports: NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by Israel

Agriculture - products: olives, citrus, vegetables; beef, dairy
products

Exports: $682 million (includes West Bank) (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

Exports - commodities: citrus, flowers

Exports - partners: Israel, Egypt, West Bank

Imports: $2.5 billion (c.i.f., 1998 est.) (includes West Bank)

Imports - commodities: food, consumer goods, construction materials

Imports - partners: Israel, Egypt, West Bank

Debt - external: $108 million (includes West Bank) (1997 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $800 million pledged (includes West Bank)
(1999)

Currency: 1 new Israeli shekel (NIS) = 100 new agorot

Exchange rates: new Israeli shekels (NIS) per US$1 - 4.2260 (November
1999), 3.8001 (1998), 3.4494 (1997), 3.1917 (1996), 3.0113 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Gaza Strip:Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 95,729 (total for Gaza Strip and West
Bank) (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system:
domestic: rudimentary telephone services provided by an open wire
system
international: NA

Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: NA; note - most Palestinian households have radios (1999)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (operated by the Palestinian
Broadcasting Corporation) (1997)

Televisions: NA; note - most Palestinian households have televisions
(1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 3 (1999)

@Gaza Strip:Transportation

Railways:
total: NA km; note - one line, abandoned and in disrepair, little
trackage remains

Highways:
total: NA km
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km
note: small, poorly developed road network

Ports and harbors: Gaza

Airports: 2 (1999 est.)
note: includes Gaza International Airport that opened on 24 November
1998 as part of agreements stipulated in the September 1995 Oslo II
Accord and the 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1999 est.)

@Gaza Strip:Military

Military branches: NA

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

@Gaza Strip:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: West Bank and Gaza Strip are
Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the
Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be
determined through further negotiation

______________________________________________________________________



GEORGIA

@Georgia:Introduction

Background: Georgia was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th
century. Independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian
revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR until the
Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Russian troops remain garrisoned at
four military bases and as peacekeepers in the separatist regions of
Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The country continues to move toward a
market economy and greater integration with Western institutions.

@Georgia:Geography

Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey
and Russia

Geographic coordinates: 42 00 N, 43 30 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

Area:
total: 69,700 sq km
land: 69,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land boundaries:
total: 1,461 km
border countries: Armenia 164 km, Azerbaijan 322 km, Russia 723 km,
Turkey 252 km

Coastline: 310 km

Maritime claims: NA

Climate: warm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast

Terrain: largely mountainous with Great Caucasus Mountains in the
north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhet'is Dablobi
(Kolkhida Lowland) opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River



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