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:

Egypte:   Al Sissi adresse son allocution devant le forum économique Davos (news)
Egypt State Information Service
22 May 2015

Le président Al Sissi a adressé son allocution devant le forum sous thème de l'Egypte est une région variable et ce pour examiner l'importance de relever les défis ... [read more]

Egypt:   State to Host World Economic Forum On Mena in 2016 - Sisi (news)
Aswat Masriya
22 May 2015

The 2016 World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa will be held in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh in May, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Friday at the 2015 Forum. [read more]

Egypt:   Journalists Sentenced to Death or to Life in Prison for 'Implying Security Forces Violated Human Rights' (press release)
Alkarama Foundation
21 May 2015

On 19 May 2015, Alkarama sent a communication to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) regarding the detentions and sentences pronounced against nine journalists on 11 April ... [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!