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.