Over the weekend we got a preview of the Tunisian Security Forces readiness. From (2) separate occasions, we received good indicators of not only their strategy but also their commitment to order. As far as strategy, in both cases we can see that their primary objective is to control the situation quickly and in great numbers. Regarding the ‘television station‘ incident, for a mere 90 protesters, “100 police vehicles and several hundred police officers wearing anti-riot gear” handled the situation professionally. The incident, which was in reaction to Nessma TV airing a film that showed the literal depiction of God, highlights a growing tension between religious groups and secularist. This growing tension may turn out to be a very important factor as we get closer to the 23rd.
Also during the weekend, it was reported that in Sousse, Islamist supporters tried to storm a university located about 150km south of Tunis. The flip side of this tension is the element that secularist are worried about both the popularity and strong organization of Islamist groups and concerned about their chances of success on October 23rd.
Positive Feedback from Observers…
Andreas Gross from the Council of Europe has publicly stated his admiration for the Tunisian lectoral Process. Significantly, he stated that he felt that “revolutionaries, civil society and especially the three commissions tasked with protecting the gains of the revolution and who have prepared not only the elections but also the legislation on parties and their financing are really strong and capable, and that’s something that makes a huge difference.”
2 out of 3
In order to go through this transition smoothly 3 factors have to be in order: 1- State Security Forces must remain committed to keeping the peace. 2-The Electoral Process must run smoothly and 3-We must have a good personal plan. This weekend’s events are proof that 2 out of 3 factors are (at least they appear to be) in place, so it’s up to us to make sure we take care of our business and check off the third factor; Create a Personal Family 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.