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…

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Post Election Update-(Transistion)

    tran·si·tion

The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

The word transition has to be one of the most used words  in today’s media.  From the economy to politics, the one word that best describes the period we’re going through is transition.  As the world congratulated Tunisia for a job well done, the challenge of staying updated became more and more difficult. The news alone is hard enough to keep up with, but when you add rumors, local events, and every day life; it can get pretty overwhelming.

From Al Jazeera to Tunisia Live, CNN to BBC, the media has focused heavily on Tunisia over the last few days and as a result there is a lot of information (and misinformation) out for us to consume.

10-Day Outlook

It will be very interesting to see what happens over the next 10 days. Ennahda party officials have announced that within this time period, “Tunisia will have a coalition government in place.”  Each day will provide us with more clues as to how smooth or problematic this transition will be.  The 10-days will also give us a snapshot at the new security layout and the general direction of the country.

Key Dates to keep in mind:

  • Friday, November 4th:  The Friday prayers before the big Eid, usually draws higher than usual attendees to the mosques.  This could play a factor depending on the way things go during the week.
  • Sunday, November 6-7  Eid Al Idha
  • Monday, November 7th:  Many factors such as the link this date had with the old regime and the fact that it will mark the 10-day cycle; make it worth monitoring.

On the radar

Blancos, a very popular beach side bar and lounge located in Gammarth, has been permanently shutdown by Tunisian authorities.  According to several sources, the authorities showed up on Friday night to enforce an ordinance that prevents any establishment located near the beach from selling alcohol after 11pm.

We also detected more road side checks in and around the greater La Marsa area and higher sense of alertness among police officers. The period of change is well underway, let’s hope the change will continue to be for the better.

 

 

Tunisia Security Update

At the Tunisia Security Update we are going to continue to focus on security issues effecting the La Marsa, Carthage, Laouina, and Gammarth areas.

Election Update 7-(Big Tuesday)

Congratulations to the Tunisian people for their successful election day!  It seemed like all the pieces fell into place, the weather was great, the people were motivated, and the system worked.

On another note, now is not the time to just sit back and put away our security textbooks.   As previously discussed, security professionals predicted a smooth election day, but there are still concerns about the general public reaction and subsequent transition. The head of the election commission, Kamel Jendoubi, has already stated that the official results would be released Tuesday afternoon. By the end of this week, we’ll have a clearer picture of  the new security landscape.

Residential Security

We’ve received several reports in the La Marsa, Carthage, and Gammarth areas, concerning a scam operation whereby a person rings a private home’s door bell and gives a fake excuse in an attempt  to gain access.  Fortunately, in all the cases that we’ve come across, the person was smart enough to know something was wrong and refused to open the door.  In one case a male claimed he was there to deliver a letter at 10pm.  It’s important that you remain aware of your environment and understand that most burglaries are crimes of opportunity.

Residential Security Awareness

  • Break-ins often occur during the day when homes are unoccupied.
  • Before any break in, there is always a period of surveillance; don’t become predictable.
  • Make sure you’ve developed a good rapport with your neighbors, know your neighborhood, and easily spot something that ‘just doesn’t look/feel right’.

Tomorrow will be the start of a new era for Tunisia.  Hopefully the same positive energy that we witnessed during the weekend will carry over into the week.

Election Update 5-(Calm Friday…Important Info)

It was a calm and rather beautiful Friday.  A member of our security team informed us that the theme of today’s prayers was about the importance of good deeds and preparations for Eid Al Adha (Muslim holiday), which will run from November 6th to the 7th.

On another note…

According to an Australian government website:

“According to potentially credible information as of 19 October, terrorists may be planning to attack the Sheraton Hotel in Tunis, Tunisia, within a few days.”

We are not able to verify their ‘credible information’, but considering the timing and specificity of their posting, it is better to share this type of information.

We have shared this information with other security professionals and will keep you informed if we are able to obtain more clarification on this matter.

Evaluating Information

In this day and age with so many open sources, we really have to examine every piece of data that comes across our way.  Like good information analysts, we have to accept that in the information age, all sorts of info, confirmed and unconfirmed, are easily passed on as truth, but nothing can replace good common sense.

Tunisia Security Update

We will continue to monitor the situation on the ground and  keep you updated with relevant, practical, and big

picture analysis.

October 23rd-Ready or not…

The countdown is on and there’s no turning back.  Ready or not, on October 23rd, the  Tunisian Constituent Assembly election will take place.  The pulse on the ground indicates that the Tunisian people, political parties, and government want this election to take place.  They all have a vested interested in its success and are looking forward to this historic transition.”  Security analysts have stated that the concern isn’t really the day of the election itself (Sunday, October 23rd), but rather the days and weeks following it.

re·ac·tion

How will the people react?  Will they be happy with the results?  How about the political parties?  The number of licensed political parties is documented to be well over one hundred and there are more than 11,000 registered candidates.  With only 3.64 million voters registered out of 7 million, will the results satisfied the hopes and expectations of the Tunisian people?  Will the international observers be pleased with the technicalities?  These are but a few of the many questions that orbit in the space of the unknown.

Preemptive Panic

Some organizations have already informed their employees that they will be closed during the week of the elections. It is also no surprise that the rumor mills are picking up and  social networks are filled with one thousand and one ‘what if theories’, but we should not confuse preparedness with panic.  What’s happening  in Tunisia is just a microcosm of what’s taking place all around the world.  Everywhere from Libya to London, Nigeria to New York; the security situation is challenging.

There is a big difference between preparedness and panic.  Preparedness is about using methods such as research, planning , resourcing, and above all common sense in order to be ready when challenging situations arise.  Panic planning is simply expecting the worst and making rush judgments based on fears and rumors.  Whereas preparedness is ongoing and proactive, panic planning is always in reactionary mode.

There are many reasons for concerns and the security situation in Tunisia is very challenging to say the least, but crystal ball planning is not the way to go. 

October-Campaign Season

As of October 1, political parties have the green light to campaign and broadcast their message to the wider Tunisian public.  Expect to see more and more campaign rallies, political assemblies, and general large gatherings.  These gathering are usually peaceful in nature but may appear to be somewhat chaotic to an outsider.  Loud speakers, large crowds, and an element of tension may give the impression that something else is going on, but make no mistake about it, the political season is in full swing.

Areas of Concern

  • A total of 7 million Tunisians are eligible to vote on October 23rd, but only 3.64 million voters have registered.
  • Polls say that half of the country’s 7 million strong electorate remain undecided.
  • Some opposition parties say they fear the interim government may renege on its promise to lead Tunisia toward democracy and violent protests have erupted over delays in holding the poll.

Points of Optimism

  • Tunisia’s Foreign Minister, Mouldi Kefi, said on Friday that his government was ready for the upcoming elections scheduled on October 23.
  • “Ten thousand extra policemen will join the police in Tunisia to contribute to the success of the elections,” interior ministry spokesman, Hichem Meddeb, told Reuters.
  • “Every government is concerned when elections are coming. Even for long standing democracies let alone a new born democracy like ours. Yes, there is some concern from the security forces, from the people themselves, but we are counting on the wisdom of the Tunisian people, of the Tunisian electorate, of the Tunisian citizens, men and women, to give not only the Tunisian people but the whole international community who have their eyes on our experience. As I said it will probably going to be a bell weather model for the others,”-Tunisia’s Foreign Minister, Mouldi Kefi

Contingency Planning

When putting together our contingency plans we have to remember that we are making a plan for a “future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty.”  That is why it is important that our  plans remain fresh, flexible, and above all practical.

The top 3 contingency planning areas we should focus on are:  Curfews, Civil Unrest, and Martial Law.  Now is a good time to review your personal plans, strategies and approaches for coping with these events.  For each one of these go through a couple “What if?” scenarios and review the plan with friends and family.  It doesn’t have to be a formal process, a simple conversation is sufficient.  The process will not only better prepare you but it will also give you some piece of mind knowing that at the very least you have a plan.

Tunisia Security Update

We will continue to monitor the situation on the ground and  keep you updated with relevant, practical, and big picture analysis.