The Republic of Fiji is situated in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and north of New Zealand. It is an archipelago of 333 volcanic islands (of which only 110 are inhabited), covering a total area of 130,470 square kilometres. A former British colony, Fiji gained independence on October 10, 1970. Its population of 925,000 is made up of predominantly ethnic (Taukei) Fijians and indo-Fijians, who were descendants of indentured Indian sugarcane farmers brought by the British from the Indian subcontinent between 1879 and 1916.

The island nation is known as much for its world-class tourist sites as it is for its tumultuous political climate. Fiji forms the most eastern point of the so-called geopolitical arc of instability, which stretches across to Indonesian-controlled West Papua. ...

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