Tunisia’s Borders (II): Terrorism and Regional Polarisation

Since the December 2010-January 2011 uprising, Tunisia has successfully overcome successive political crises, yet seems less able to absorb the impact of major jihadi attacks. As a result of the successful national dialogue, 2014 began on a note of optimism that led to a significant reduction in political tensions, but concerns are growing again. At the heart of this anxiety are an increase in violence along the Algerian border; the chaotic situation in Libya; and the advance of radical Islamism in the Middle East – all made all the more acute by an alarmist anti-terrorist discourse. An echo chamber for the conflicts agitating the region, Tunisia needs to tackle terrorism in a calm and depoliticised manner. The fights against terrorism and organised crime are inextricably linked. In addition to security measures, the government should take new economic and social initiatives that would ensure border communities trust and support the state.

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