The World Factbook: Background: :: The Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate in 1892 and a colony in 1915; they were captured by the Japanese in the Pacific War in 1941. The islands of Makin and Tarawa were the sites of major US amphibious victories over entrenched Japanese garrisons in 1943. The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island...read more [Source: The World Factbook]Wikipedia: Kiribati ([kɪribas] KIRR-i-bas or ˌkɪrəˈbɑdi; Gilbertese: [ˈkiɾibas]), officially the Independent and Sovereign Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 100,000 (2011) on 800 square kilometres (310 sq mi). The nation is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, Banaba, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres, (1,351,000 square miles) straddling the equato...read more [Source: Wikipedia]
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