I am still in the United States traveling around and catching up with family members. As much as I try to “unplug”, I couldn’t resist checking my emails. After reading a few I quickly decided it’s time for an update:
Civil Unrest & Concerns
Security professionals in Tunisia are monitoring several developments which have the potential to trigger civil unrest:
1. Situation in Gaza: In response to the ongoing situation in Gaza, activists are organizing a protest on Friday, July 11 at 2130 in downtown Tunis.
2. Release of Controversial film: Numerous social media reports on Friday, 4 July, revealed that several European-based activists will release a provocative film offensive to Muslims.
3. Perfect storm scenario: There are a number of potential incidents that could trigger civil unrest. The presence of militant groups operating within Tunisia is now a reality. On July 1st, a “roadside bomb exploded as a military vehicle passed by, wounding four soldiers and two members of the National Guard.”
Several developments related to the broad topic of terrorism are also concerning and worth evaluating:
1. Tunisia Terror -On July 5th Tunisian security forces foiled a militant attack on Mornaguia Prison. According to Shems FM seven prison guards were arrested in the operation.
2. Islamic State (IS) call to arms included Tunisia as a legitimate target. This story would probably surprise a lot of expats “wait Islamic State…aren’t they in Iraq?”…The short answer is no and as the cited article accurately puts it:
Tunisia is now on “equal footing with Algeria and the US in terms of its alleged oppression of Muslims. Government buildings or security forces would be the most likely targets, but diplomats, embassies and other assets of countries perceived to be anti-Islamist, such as the UK, France or Egypt, would also be potential targets.”
3. Tunisia raises terrorism alert level-On July 9th, Officials raised the security alert level “inside cities and at sensitive sites especially during iftar.” As always the measure is broad and vague but worth noting.
The concerns cited above along with the elections & economic challenges; give us more than enough reasons to evaluate our security posture in Tunisia. Now is a good time to review your 3C: Communication, Community, Continuity.
- Communication: Make sure your receiving practical & relevant security updates.
- Community: Good situational awareness & networking.
- Continuity: As always make sure you have a plan to deal with challenging situations.
On the flip side there’s a lot of good information coming out of Tunisia. It still remains the last great hope of the Arab Spring and many remain optimistic about its future.
As informed Expats we simply want to be aware of the security situation so that we are able to safely live & thrive in beautiful Tunisia.
Let’s stay connected.