Responding to Sousse
New European Security Spotlight "Responding to Sousse: Tunisia Needs Sustainable Economic Development Not a Security Crackdown": It is time for the EU to support initiatives tackling the economic stagnation, unreformed security system and marginalization of peripheries that feed radicalism and violence.
While Tunisia was widely praised for the progress it has made since the 2011 revolution, two recent terrorist attacks have reminded the world of the challenges that the country faces. Both the attack in the Bardo museum on 18 March 2015 and the shooting in Sousse on 26 June 2015 were committed by young Tunisians with links to Libyan jihadist groups and targeted mainly foreign tourists. The Tunisian government, led by the secularist party Nidaa Tounes, has responded by cracking down on radical Islamist networks and adopting a new counter-terrorism law that has been criticised by human rights groups as granting too many unchecked powers to the authorities. The nascent Tunisian democracy thus has to navigate an increasingly difficult road marked by internal challenges in the form of economic and demographic pressures, militant Islamist opposition and stalling reforms. Instability in the whole North Africa and the Sahel only exacerbate internal issues. It will be very difficult for the Tunisian government to overcome all these challenges alone and it is time for the EU to help preserve the stability of the country...(Jan Daniel)