Tunisia. At the beginning of February, Parliament
approved the new coalition government formed after the
October parliamentary elections last year. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the government
consisted of representatives from the secular party Nidaa
Tounes (Call for Tunisia), Islamic Ennahda and the small
parties UPL (Free Patriotic Union) and Afek Tounes. In the
fall, a short-lived crisis occurred in the largest
government party Nidaa Tounes when more than a third of MPs
temporarily resigned their party membership.
During the year several acts of terror occurred in Tunis
and Sousse, among others. On March 18, three terrorists
opened fire on people outside the Bardom Museum, which is
located next to the parliament in Tunis. Three people were
taken hostage inside the museum and the parliament building
was evacuated in connection with the attack that killed 22
people. On June 25, a new terrorist attack took place in El
Kantaoui north of Sousse where 38 people, most British
tourists, were shot dead on the beach and inside a hotel.
After the massacre, an emergency permit was introduced which
lasted for three months and the government announced that
about 80 mosques would be closed because they were accused
of calling for violence.
The Islamic State terrorist organization (IS) took on the
blame for both attacks, which hit hard on the tourism
industry as many tour operators canceled their trips to the
country. Several countries issued warnings to avoid travel
to Tunisia and the EU promised increased political and
financial support for the country.
In response to the terrorist attacks, in June Parliament
adopted stricter anti-terrorism legislation. The law was
criticized by human rights activists who argued that it
threatened fundamental freedoms and rights by, among other
things, imposing the death penalty for more criminal
offenses and allowing longer detention times.
In October, the Tunisian Quartet for National Dialogue
was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its mediation efforts
after the 2011 revolution. rights. According to the
Norwegian Nobel Committee, the quartet played a crucial role
in the development towards peace, stability and democracy.
In November, the US Secretary of State visited the country
and met with other peacekeepers.
Just hours before President Beji Caid Essebsi's November
24 speech was broadcast live, a suicide bomber fired a bomb
a few hundred meters from the Interior Ministry, right next
to a bus in which parts of the president's security force
were traveling. At least twelve people were killed and 20
seriously injured in the attack, which IS later took on the
blame for. One week after the attack, the country's security
minister, Rafik Chelly, was dismissed.
In connection with the incident, an emergency permit was
introduced and Tunisia closed its border with Libya, where
explosives used in the suicide bombing were tracked. Arms
smuggling from the war-torn neighboring country Libya to
Tunisia was described as an increasing security problem, as
was the large number of Tunisians who joined warring
jihadist groups in Syria during the year. About 3,000
Tunisians were estimated to participate in the war in Iraq
and Syria, which was more than from any other country.