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Posts tagged ‘Revival in Tunisia’

Protests continue in Tataouine, Tunisia

May 30, 2017

The wave of protests in the Tunisian province of Tataouine to demand development and jobs is still ongoing.

The El Kamour sit-in is continuing in the desert of Tataouine for the second month in a row. In addition, a week ago, a group of El Kamour protesters headed to the province’s headquarters for a sit-in, while waiting for the resumption of talks with the government.

Movement through the Dhehbia-Wazzin border crossing has been blocked for a week due to a decision by Libyan border guards to ban Libyans from crossing in light of the tense situation in the region.

Last week, Imed Hammami, the minister of employment and vocational training, who is in charge of the issue of development in the province of Tataouine, called for holding negotiations at his ministry to end the protests. The session was however postponed after the region’s governor resigned last Wednesday.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170530-protests-continue-in-tataouine-tunisia/.

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Tunisians protest against the return of jihadis like Amri

December 24, 2016

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — About 200 people have protested in the Tunisian capital against the return of Tunisian jihadis who have fought abroad. The gathering Saturday was prompted by the deadly truck attack in a Berlin Christmas market by Tunisian Anis Amri, who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and was killed Friday in a police shootout. Amri, 24, was slated to be deported home from Germany.

Banners at the protest in front of Parliament in Tunis read “Close the doors to terrorism” and “No tolerance, no return.” Protesters waved Tunisian flags and sang the national anthem. Protester Faten Mejri said “for us, they are not Tunisians. They are awful people.”

Tunisia says at least 800 Tunisian jihadis are under surveillance since returning home after fighting in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

Outrage in Tunisia over girl’s marriage to rapist

December 16, 2016

Dozens of Tunisians gathered before parliament this week to denounce the enforced marriage of a 13 year-old girl to an elderly relative who, it is alleged, raped her and made her pregnant. Public outrage at the legalization of the marriage by a court in the north-west of the country included allegations that the “marriage” was simply a way for the attacker to avoid prosecution.

According to a spokesman for the court, however, the ruling was given after ensuring that the girl had not been raped. ”We heard from the girl,” explained Chokri Mejri, “and after checking all the details, we considered that she was fit for marriage.” As both families asked for the marriage it does not make it a scandal, he insisted.

The head of child welfare in the Kef region contested the court’s findings. “When it is a child of 13 years, one cannot speak about sex with consent,” said Houda Abboudi. “This is rape.”

Human rights groups have criticized article 227 of the Tunisian Penal Code adopted in 1958, which punishes anyone who rapes or sexually abuses a female younger than 15 years of age with six years in prison if it is “without violence.” The relevant article goes on to explain that if the guilty person marries the victim, the prosecution will stop. The repeal of this article has been a recurrent demand of women’s rights organisations for decades. They condemn the very notion that sex can take place with a minor “without violence”.

A lawyer and activist for the rights of women and girls pointed out that this law has never been repealed because it is not part of the political agenda. “There is also the desire to protect a patriarchal and conservative society in which women and girls continue to be sacrificed on the altar of family honour,” concluded Alya Cherif Chammari.

Since the fall of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, several bills on the comprehensive reform of the Penal Code as part of the struggle to stop violence against women and girls have failed to become law.

Chammari hopes that this latest case can prompt the outrage needed beyond the traditional circles. “Tunisian society is ready for these changes. In general, it is necessary to harmonize laws with the Constitution, which affirms equality between men and women and the fight against all forms of violence against women. The State scanner passes laws in the light of these constitutional principles.”

Since the outcry, the Attorney General has demanded the cancellation of the court decision to allow the marriage. Women’s rights organisations are asking for a formal annulment in the case.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20161216-outrage-in-tunisia-over-girls-marriage-to-rapist/.

Ghannouchi re-elected as head of Ennahda

May 24, 2016

There are problems within the Ennahda party but assessing the situation is part of how the group operates, the party’s head Rachid Al-Ghannouchi said in a speech yesterday.

Ennahda has succeeded in renewing itself according to the needs of the Tunisian people, Al-Ghannouchi said, promising a path of reform and development.

The group has pioneered the way to revisit its thoughts and further reinforce democratic values, he said during a speech at the group’s tenth congress.

The veteran leader seemed for a moment moved when it was announced that he was re-elected as the party’s head with a comfortable majority.

“Ennahda was a pioneer in reinforcing the idea of democracy and in self-criticism and accepting constant revisions,” he said.

The party has already dealt with the issue of separating between religion and politics and is now focused on the Tunisian people’s daily needs, he explained.

During the congress, Nahda announced the full list of elected Shura council members. They include former ministers, parliamentarians and senior leaders.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20160524-ghannouchi-re-elected-as-head-of-ennahda/.

Germany mulling military training mission in Tunisia: report

Berlin (AFP)

Feb 21, 2016

Germany is considering sending troops to Tunisia to help train soldiers in the fight against the Islamic State group, a newspaper report said on Sunday.

Bild am Sonntag said that representatives of the defense and foreign ministries would hold talks in Tunis on Thursday and Friday about how the German military could lend support in a training mission.

It said the engagement envisaged training Tunisian soldiers first and could eventually be extended to setting up a training camp in Tunisia for Libyan soldiers, run with other international partners.

“The IS terror is threatening all of North Africa,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the newspaper.

She said it was thus crucial “to make every effort to support countries struggling with democracy such as Tunisia”.

Von der Leyen told the newspaper that a training camp in Tunisia would be a contribution toward regional stability.

“And if its direct neighbor Libya manages to put in place a unity government one day, its security forces could also benefit from established training facilities in Tunisia,” she said.

A defense ministry spokesman told AFP he had no further details beyond the minister’s remarks.

A foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the planned talks in Tunis “on further cooperation on security” but declined to provide more information.

German forces are currently engaged in the international alliance against the Islamic State group, including by arming and training Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and flying reconnaissance missions over Syria with Tornado jets.

Since 2013, Germany has provided Tunisia with more than 100 million euros ($111 million) in programs to improve its economy. It also provides its security forces with equipment and training.

However the country’s defense commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels warned in a report last month that the German military was overstretched and underfunded and had reached “the limit of its capacity for interventions”.

Tunisia suffered two devastating attacks targeting its vital tourist sector last year, in the beach resort of Sousse and on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, that together left 60 people dead. Both were claimed by IS.

IS has also been gaining ground in Libya amid the unrest that has gripped the country since longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi was ousted in 2011.

Source: Space War.

Link: http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Germany_mulling_military_training_mission_in_Tunisia_report_999.html.

Austria places Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia on list of ‘safe countries of origin’

2016-02-15

VIENNA – Austria announced Monday it will place six nations including Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia on its list of “safe countries of origin”, as it seeks to curb the number of economic migrants.

The decision, which will also see Georgia, Ghana and Mongolia added to the list, was taken after the government carried out a “thorough examination of the situation”, the interior ministry said.

“In the case of economic migrants, we need unambiguous signals that there is no protection for them in Austria,” Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner warned.

The cabinet will sign off on the decision during its weekly meeting Tuesday.

Last month, neighboring Germany — the favored destination for most migrants — also declared Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia safe countries of origin.

The classification means that their citizens will have little chance of being granted asylum.

It will also allow Vienna to speed up case procedures and deport migrants more quickly.

The combined number of arrivals in Austria from Algeria and Morocco remains well below the 2,000-mark — a tiny fraction of the 55,000 Syrians and Iraqis who sought asylum between January and November last year.

In total, the nation of almost nine million people received 90,000 asylum claims in 2015, one of the EU’s highest rates per capita.

The Austrian government has noticeably hardened its stance as the bloc grapples with its worst migration crisis since World War II.

In 2015, over a million people reached Europe’s shores — nearly half of them Syrians fleeing a civil war that has killed more than a quarter of a million people.

In response to the influx, Austria is due to announce this week a daily cap on migrants allowed to enter from fellow EU member Slovenia, the next country down the migrant trail along the Balkans.

Source: Middle East Online.

Link: http://middle-east-online.com/english/?id=75258.

MP resignations leave Tunisia’s Ennahda party with parliamentary majority

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Two female MPs of the parliamentary bloc of Nidaa Tounes resigned from the party on Monday, bringing the number of those who have resigned to 21 members out of 86.

A resigned member from Nidaa Tounes Walid El-Gallad named the two MPs as Huda Slim and Rabha Bin Hussein.

Tunisian Radio Shems FM quoted El-Gallad as saying that there are eight other members who announced their resignations from the party as a first step.

This leaves the moderate Islamist party Ennahda, previously the minor coalition party, with a parliamentary majority.

The Nidaa Tounes party has been plagued by continuous resignations as a result of internal divisions and the resignation of the former Secretary General Mohsen Marzouk from the party.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/africa/23297-mp-resignations-leave-tunisias-ennahda-party-with-parliamentary-majority.

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