“Not good…” is all I was able to say this morning as I checked my email. I opened my eyes at about 8:30 am (Eastern Standard Time) and wondered how Tunisia was celebrating one of their most beloved holidays.
While reviewing my social media streams & email, it didn’t take long to realize that all was not well in Tunis. On Thursday, July 25th gunmen shot dead (Mr. Mohammed Brahmi, 58,) the leader of a leftist Tunisian opposition party, right in front his house. Sound familiar?
On February 6 2013, Mr. Chokri Belaid (opposition leader) was shot dead in his neighborhood. The similarities are striking: obviously both were opposition leaders, they were both killed in front of their homes, the assassins used motorbikes and executed like professionals…etc.,
The Grand Chess Board
We’ve been saying for months that Tunisia would experience major security challenges as it makes it’s way through this process. This is just the beginning.
Keep in mind that on Monday various media sources reported that the new constitution has been written and would be voted on in the coming weeks. Additionally, Prime Minster Larayedh promised that elections for a new president would be held before the end of 2013. Pretty big stuff….right? And then today happens.
Expats, let’s be honest…the next 2-3 years are going to be very challenging. Tunisia has the ingredients for both a turbulent democratic process & a successful transition.
- Turbulent democratic process: Secularists/Islamist divide, weapons proliferation Syrian fighters, challenging economy, salafists, constitution, elections, Libya, regional challenges, political assassination, etc.,
- Successful transition: homogenous society, highly educated middle class, relatively peaceful society, support of international community, political commitment to progress, support of key stake holders, etc.,
We’re receiving a lot of information from various security sources and so far the general advise for Expats is: stay informed, avoid downtown large gatherings, and let’s see how this plays out.
We should not overlook today’s tragic events and recognize that many challenges await ahead. Let’s continue to share information & network as we get ready for this new chapter in Tunisia.