Have We All Been Too Complacent About Tunisia?

From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Feb 7 2013, 09:33:00

Yesterday's assassination of Chokri Belaid in Tunis has had a profound impact on the situation in Tunisia, far exceeding the political clout of Belaid's leftist party: the Prime Minister says he is dissolving the government and creating a technocratic Cabinet of national unity; the leftist and some other secular parties are withdrawing from the Constituent Assembly, and the country is rocked by disorders.

Over the two years since the Tunisian Revolution, I think the Western commentariat has been rather complacent about Tunisia, myself included. It's a small country, one that's always seemed peaceful and comfortably Westernized. Riots over wearing niqab in the university, or violent attacks on art galleries, bars, or Sufi saint's tombs seemed to be growing pains, the actions of a radical minority. Egypt, so much bigger and so much more central, was also far more dramatic, with dozens dead just in the latest rounds of clashes.

The secularists were warning that the dominant al-Nahda was a wolf in sheep's clothing, and even came up with a secret video of Rached Ghannouchi, al-Nahda's seemingly moderate leader, suggesting alternative agendas. My last post on the Salafi-vs-Sufi saints vandalism, on the burning of the tomb of Sidi Bou Said, was something of a personal complaint since "they" attacked the place where I spent my honeymoon. Lately the transition process has bogged down over negotiations for a Cabinet reshuffle, but that, too, seemed routine: God knows, we understand partisan gridlock here in ...

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Africa:   How I Could Have Brought Ebola to Washington (blog)
allAfrica.com
23 October 2014

In September, I spent time with an American woman who had recently been in Lofa County, Liberia, an Ebola hot spot bordering the village in Guinea where the first case was identified. We were nowhere ... [read more]

Lesotho:   Top Basotho Security Chiefs Step Down (news)
allAfrica.com
23 October 2014

Three top Basotho military and police commanders implicated in recent political turmoil in the country will step aside to help create a climate in which new elections can be held. [read more]

Botswana:   Close Contest Expected at Polls (news)
Southern African News Features
22 October 2014

Close to a million Batswana will go to the polls on 24 October in parliamentary and local government elections that are expected to be closely contested. [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!