Tunisia’s security apparatus is dysfunctional, at once fragmenting, asserting authority over democratic institutions, and failing to block significant jihadi advances. Without a comprehensive new strategy including reform of Tunisia’s internal security forces, the country will continue to stumble from crisis to crisis, and to swing between chaos and renewed dictatorship.
01 July 2015
CrisisWatch N°143, 1 July 2015: In Mauritania this month, three convicted 17 June of belonging to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), sentenced to five-to-ten years’ prison. See:
After six months of worsening clashes, Libya is on the brink of all-out civil war and catastrophic state collapse. All parties must press the two rival authorities to join a national unity government, resolutely uphold the UN arms embargo, and persuade regional actors to stop fuelling the conflict.
Tunisia’s presidential election highlights the multiple divides that trouble the country and region. Unless the winner governs as a truly national leader, representing all Tunisians and not just his base, current tensions could escalate into violence.
The growing link between cartels and armed jihadi militants along Tunisia’s borders with Algeria and Libya, combined with heightened ideological polarisation, could form an explosive mix ahead of Tunisia’s legislative and presidential elections.
To prevent a rerun of last year’s political crisis, Tunisia needs far-sighted political precautions that can preserve the national compromise beyond the 2014 elections.
Nearly two-and-half years after Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow, Egypt is embarking on a transition in many ways disturbingly like the one it just experienced, only with different actors at the helm and far more fraught and violent.
Unless Libya breaks the cycle of violence and urgently reforms its justice system, there is a real risk of an increase in assassinations, urban violence and communal conflicts.
As Tunisia faces the most critical phase of its transition after Chokri Belaïd’s assassination, its leaders must devise a calibrated response to the various challenges posed by the rise of Salafism.
The violent death of the U.S. ambassador and three of his colleagues is a stark reminder of the challenges Libya still faces and should serve as a wake-up call for the authorities to urgently fill the security vacuum.
International Crisis Group © 2015 |