Does the lifting of curfew mean that Tunis can be declared safe again?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 15, 2015

Avenue Bourghiba, the  central thoroughfare of Tunis. Note the carefully clipped trees
Avenue Bourghiba, the central thoroughfare of Tunis

I returned to Tunis the night (Saturday, Dec 12) it lifted the curfew imposed after the deadly November bus bombing claimed by Isil.

No more couvre feu said the Embassy driver, sounding pleased.

C’est bonne, said everyone else.

But what does the end of the curfew really mean? Is Tunis considered safe now? Has the government managed to find all the mischief-makers? Does it have the intelligence it would need to foil other planned attacks?

No one knows. All that’s clear is that the 12 midnight curfew was pretty meaningless, anyway. The 9 pm start initially imposed right after the November 24 suicide attack that killed 12 presidential guards, was a preventive measure but the government was unable to carry on with it because shopkeepers and café-owners started to protest against the loss of business.

What this underlines is that the Tunisian authorities can be steamrollered into removing security restrictions even if it judges that they are needed. This makes for poor international confidence in the country’s security environment and preparedness.

Jack Kerouac
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac

Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK

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