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CrisisWatch Tunisia

Unchanged Situation

Amid socio-economic crisis, political standstill continued, while protesters took to street in capital Tunis to demand compromise and denounce police brutality. Amid deepening constitutional crisis, President Saïed 3 Feb reiterated refusal to swear in 11 ministers whom PM Hichem Mechichi appointed in Jan, citing breach of constitution over alleged lack of deliberation prior to cabinet reshuffle; in attempt to circumvent Saïed, Mechichi 15 Feb appointed outgoing ministers as interim heads of vacant portfolios. Islamist-inspired An-Nahda party, which is part of Mechichi’s coalition govt and largest group in parliament, 27 Feb gathered some 20,000 supporters in Tunis to call on Saïed to compromise. Following countrywide demonstrations over deteriorating socio-economic crisis in Jan, NGO Human Rights Watch 5 Feb said police had used “violent tactics to quash protests” and called on authorities to investigate death of protester. Thousands next day took to streets in Tunis to denounce police violence; march coincided with eighth anniversary of politician and human rights defender Chokri Belaïd’s assassination. Amid delays in implementation of Nov agreement between govt and activists from oil-rich Kamour area in south, who demand redistribution of hydrocarbon wealth, army 11 Feb prevented protesters from closing valve of Kamour oil pumping station; protesters 24 Feb staged general strike across Tataouine governorate. Court 24 Feb released on bail media mogul and Qalb Tounes party leader Nabil Karoui, arrested in Dec on charges of money laundering and tax evasion. Explosive device 3 Feb killed four soldiers during counter-terrorism operation in Mount Mghila area (centre west) near Algerian border.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

23 Jul 2020
There have been extremely difficult moments in Tunisia, where the country seemed to risk tumbling into the worst scenario. But there have always been politicians and unions keeping channels of discussion open. Voice of America

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia
16 Feb 2020
Le vote [du parti islamiste Ennahda] reflète les tensions au sein du parti. Notamment concernant la succession de Rached Ghannouchi à sa tête qui doit se décider lors d’un congrès cette année. Le Croix

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia
26 Jan 2020
If the [Tunisian] government (...) can’t channel populist concerns about sovereignty, there risks to be a lot of instability and protests. VOA

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia
25 Feb 2018
There is tension between the [Tunisian] police and the judiciary [about ISIS militants]. The police say it’s because the judges are terrorists themselves. BuzzFeed

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia
14 Jan 2018
There is a fertile ground for social anger [in Tunisia] that needs to be taken into account. What will be interesting in the next days is how the youth movements will structure themselves. The New York Times

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia

Latest Updates

Tunisia in 2019: a Pivotal Year?

Divisions within Tunisia’s political leadership are preventing the government from addressing the country’s political and socio-economic challenges. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2019 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to support measures that will prevent further polarisation.

Also available in Français

Tunisia’s Political Polarisation Worsens after First Big Terrorist Attack in Two Years

A 29 October suicide bombing in the heart of Tunis dealt a blow to much-improved security since the last violent jihadist attacks in 2015-16. In this Q&A, our Senior Analyst for Tunisia Michael B. Ayari says it has also hammered a new wedge into Islamist-secularist political divides.

Also available in Français

Tunisie : dépasser les querelles pour restaurer la confiance

Le maintien ou le départ du chef du gouvernement tunisien, Youssef Chahed, est depuis plusieurs semaines au cœur d’une crise politique. Si les principales forces politiques et syndicales échouent à trouver un compromis, la formation d’un gouvernement dit de technocrates pourrait permettre de renforcer la confiance et d’apaiser les rancœurs. 

Also available in English

Strengthening Institutions in Tunisia

Tunisia is in limbo between two different forms of government, deepening socio-economic difficulties for many citizens and putting the country’s security at risk. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018, Crisis Group proposes that the EU and its member states use their influence to persuade Tunisia actively to promote economic growth and speed up government restructuring.

On the Politics behind Tunisia’s Protests

Analysis on the politics behind the scenes of the ongoing protests in Tunisia.

Originally published in The Arabist

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