TS Update-(Security Lenses)

As always, before submitting a post, I went through my regular practice of trying to collect, analyze, and process the best information possible.  As always, I learned a great deal about the security situation in Tunisia, but this time I took a step back and noticed something that at first glance may seem very basic but is really interesting once you actually experience it.  What I noticed is that there is a huge gap between all my different sources of information.  In a flash,  I realized that my (3) primary sources:  Open Source Intelligence, Professional Security Periodicals, and Security Conscious Tunisians; are all seeing the same situation through totally different lenses.

Open Source Intelligence

From open source channels, I gathered various good insights into the present security situation.  Journalist, Gwynne Dyer wrote an excellent piece entitled:  A Progress Report of the Arab Spring, in which he explains a very interesting development taking place in North Africa, namely the relative success that Islamic based political parties are having throughout the region.  A reporter went even as far as to label this development as the Ennahda Effect. Both make the point that regardless of the speculations regarding the moderate Islamic party Ennahda, its” leaders promise to respect the rights of less religious Tunisians, and there is no reason not to believe them.”

The open source lens is wide and through it one can see a new horizon emerging with many challenges and opportunities.

Security Periodicals

Security periodicals focused on the power sharing agreement formation that took place on November 21st.  Stratfor Global Intelligence Analyst Kamran Bokhari, pointed out that the Tunisian election results, “will have implications for other countries such as Egypt that have far more geopolitical significance than the tiny North African state”.

The lens through which security analysts are studying the situation is more specialized and through it one can see that the “New Tunisia” is far from unveiling its new look.

Security Conscious Tunisians

The biggest gap in terms of interpretation between what is being reported and the events taking place on the ground is definitely among average Tunisians.  Our friends in the Carthage, La Marsa, and Gammarth areas have also expressed a lot of hope as well as concerns.  As an American, it is absolutely inspiring to hear from so many Tunisians and to see first hand, just  how passionate they are about their country, future, and new democracy.

The local lens is still a bit blurry but Tunisians are working hard to remove the dust of the past and are currently adjusting their scopes on a brighter tomorrow.

The International Lens

All three lenses provide  the International Community with powerful tools through which we can continually assess the security situation on the ground.  Depending on your short and long term goals while in Tunisia, you may put more value on one particular lens over another.  What’s important is to keep your perspective fresh and updated with big picture analysis.

We will certainly do our best to help you in this process and hope to continue to provide the International Community with relevant and practical security updates.

Tunisia Security November Update

Looking forward to presenting new creative and hopefully useful  information to our community. The video below is a brief  presentation that attempts to put a lot of current events into perspective. Please keep the feedback coming and let’s keep the conversation going…

Continue reading

November Security Update-(Occupy Movement & Notes…)

The Occupy Movement has gone global and perhaps now made its way to Tunisia. The movement is focused on bringing attention to the social and economic inequality throughout the world.  It is documented that the movement started in Kuala Lumpur on July 30, 2011. Other protests followed in New York City, San Francisco and over 95 other cites across 82 countries and 600 communities in the United States.  Interestingly enough, the movement was inspired by the Arab Spring and the events that took place here in Tunisia.

Occupy Protest Worldwide
Occupy Protest Worldwide

Currently, there is a page on Facebook inviting people to participate in an “Occupy Tunis” gathering on Friday, November 11, 2011.  Although we can not independently confirm the validity of this event, it is still worth noting. It is also fair to point out that the Occupy Movement has largely been non violent and well-organized. Still,  it is always wise to use precaution and good judgment when engaging any type of large gathering.

Weekend Reminder

On Saturday November 12th, “the Stade 7 November in Rades near Tunis will be the focus of the whole continent and the rest of the world” as Tunisians will be intently watching their beloved Esperance football team take on Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco.  As you make your weekend plans it’s important to note when big sporting events will take place since such events have on occasion led to incidents of violence.  The big match is scheduled to take place at 7pm and the teams will be fiercely competing to win $1.5 million, a ticket to represent the continent at the FIFA Club World Cup scheduled for 8-18 December in Japan, and football glory.

Go Esperance!

Eid Al-Adha Travel-Security

Wishing everyone a pleasant and relaxing Eid weekend.  Here are a few points you may wish to consider before you hit the road:  

The Tunisian Interior Ministry has called on road users to show extra vigilance while driving.  The ministry also warns people against the “traffic congestion over the next week or so, especially Saturday 5th November (from 2:00 p.m.), and Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 November 2011.”  As always it is recommended that you avoid excessive speed, observe the safety distance and respect road priority.

Local Travel
Because of the unpredictability of demonstrations and an increase in the levels of crime, if you wish to visit sites in the interior of the country, it is recommended that you do so with an approved local guide or reputable tour operator. Please also note that tourists wanting to visit the southern border areas have to obtain permission from the Tunisian authorities to enter certain desert areas on the borders with Algeria and the southern military zones and must travel with licensed guides.

Stay Alert/Stay Safe
A State of Emergency remains in place. You should be aware that the authorities may restrict travel or enforce local curfews with little or no notice. It is important that you observe instructions given by security authorities and above all use good common sense.

Good Emergency Numbers while on the road:
193 for the National Guard, 197 for police assistance, the 198 Civil Protection, the 71,960,448 for the Intelligence Center of the National Guard and 71,342 .787 for the operating room of the traffic police.