I really appreciate all the emails received last week. I can’t say enough about the importance of solid on the ground information. I was able to share some of the info on the Tunisia Security Update Facebook Page which reached over 3,000 Expats.
Before we go on, I think we need to highlight a very important point: Things could be a lot worse.
Here are only a few examples of actions taken on the part of Tunisian security forces which have arguably minimized security threats:
Tunisian Security Forces
- Bloomberg-Dec 22, 2012: Tunisia arrested 16 members of a group linked to al-Qaeda
- Reuters-Jan 17, 2013: Tunisian authorities said on Thursday they had arrested a “terrorist” group and seized a big arms cache.
- North Africa United- Jan 18, 2013: A large quantity of weapons of different kinds were confiscated in the coastal city of Gabes.
Mr. Habib Sayah (Director of the Kheireddine Institute), wrote an excellent article which offers both valuable insights and big picture analysis.
He focused on Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST) and the opportunity that the current political crisis is creating for them. Among the many alarming developments, Mr Sayah notes that the “ferments of insurgency are germinating”. He goes on to warn us that “if the cycle of political violence does not come to an end soon enough, AST may unleash a large scale insurgency.”
While this may be the case, the actions on the ground are less worrisome and Expats are trying to move beyond the week to week tension build up. The weeks of October 23rd, January 14th, and February 16th…were all filled with many news reports & rumors of countless troubling scenarios, but in the end very little happened.
There is a buffer time between political battles and on the ground security consequences. I believe we are in that buffer time and sooner or later we are going to have a stretch of challenging days.
While we continuously prepare for these challenging days ahead, we hope that the efforts of the Tunisian security forces and the goodwill of the Tunisian people continues to prevail.
Keep sending your updates and let’s keep in touch during these odd days.