As we stated in our previous postings, the threat level in Tunisia has increased and the month of Ramadan is proving to be very challenging for Tunisians. This is a great time for us to review what happened and look beyond.
What’s going on?
At least 14 Tunisian soldiers were killed when gunmen with rocket-propelled grenade attacked two checkpoints in the Chaambi mountain range.
Tunisian government stated that the attackers are tied to Al-Qaeda’s North Africa wing, known as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Minster of Interior Mr. Ben Jeddou stated that since the start of Ramadan they’ve foiled six terrorist operations in Tunisia.
Short Term=Tourism hit
Mount Chaambi is a war zone so it is very likely that similar incidents will take place. On a broader level, the last couple of days have been a public relations nightmare for Tunisian tourism. The Brits took the lead by warning its citizens of a “high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping.”
Specifically, the FCO advises against: “all but essential travel to areas south of, and including, the towns of Nefta, Douz, Medenine and Zarzisj, and to within 30km of the border with Algeria from south of the town of Ghardinaou.”
To put it bluntly, this really sucks for Tunisia especially since the number of British visitors to Tunisia reached a new record last year with more than 400,000 visitors.
Long Term=Great Security Challenge
Here are my top 3 reasons why I think we (Tunisians & Expat Community) have great security challenges ahead:
- Parliamentary elections (currently) scheduled to take place on October 26th & Presidential elections on November 23rd
- Current situation in Libya
- Social-Economic challenges in Tunisia
And as if these weren’t challenging enough we also have to look at even more alarming developments such as “reports indicating the return of Libyan jihadists and others from Tunisia to their countries to create branches of ISIS in North Africa.”
Expat Deep Breath
Since 2011 we’ve seen how resilient, peaceful, and kind Tunisians are. We certainly hope for the best for Tunisia but as expats we have to focus on ensuring that our personal security matches or exceeds the threat level.
With the right setup, mindset, and network we can continue to live & thrive in beautiful Tunisia. This is true for both tourists & expats.
Let’s stay connected…