Tunisia citizens call for compromise

Tunisia’s Ennahda-led government failed to agree with the opposition on how to end the weeks-long political deadlock.

The General Labour Union (UGTT), which has been playing the role of mediator, announced that no agreement has been reached yet to end the political stalemate.

The ruling coalition on Sunday (September 1st) rejected proposals from the opposition, but announced that the door was still open for a dialogue.

“The suggestions made by representatives of opposition parties to exit the political crisis in Tunisia were not received in a satisfactory way by the ruling coalition, including Ennahda and the Congress for the Republic (CPR),” said Mouldi Riahi of ruling coalition member party Ettakatol.

“The need for all political parties to meet around one table is paramount, and the role of organisations sponsoring the dialogue must be transformed to one that guarantees consensus and compromise reached by both sides,” Riahi stressed.

The ruling coalition approved in principle the dissolution of the government, but only after the draft constitution is ratified, the Independent High Authority for the elections is formed, and the electoral law put in place by October 23rd.

The resignation of the government has been a source of uncertainty for weeks, following unrest triggered by the assassinations of opposition politicians Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi.

Due to the failure to reach a consensus over whether the government will stay or go, Tunisians say more concessions should be made for the people’s sake.

Mohamed Ajroudi, a professor at the University of Tunis, stressed that the economic and security situation in the country can no longer permit more wasted time by the country’s political actors.

“Everyone must be aware of the importance of the stage that we are going through and offer more concessions to reach a solution in order to get us out of this ordeal,” Ajroudi said.

“We don’t want more troubles for our country. They all must get back to their positions as soon as possible and resume their duties,” he added.

Samira Rabaoui, a Ben Arous housewife, expressed fears that the continuing crisis will lead the country to an unknown path full of dangers: “We fear that the country due to the intransigence of the political parties will become a space of conflict for positions. The situation is worsening by the day and I expect a social explosion soon.”

“It is necessary that parties in the conflict make concessions, agree on one position, and find solutions as soon as possible,’ said Moetaz Ben Romdhane, an economics student from the province of Nabeul.

Maghrebia http://magharebia.com/en_GB/articles/awi/features/2013/09/02/feature-01

Troubles in the Jebel Chaambi, two more Tunisian Soldiers killed

Jebel Chaambi terrorists claim more lives

By Yasmine Najjar and Monia Ghanmi in Tunis for Magharebia – 07/06/2013

Two Tunisian army officers were killed Thursday (June 6th) in the Jebel Chaambi region, the defence ministry confirmed, calling it “a serious development”.

The home-made bomb exploded during the ongoing military campaign to hunt down terrorists holed up in the mountain forests near Algeria.

This latest incident in Dhogra “targeted all those who use the track, whether citizens, military or security personnel”, the defence ministry said, urging “all citizens to be cautious and deal positively with the military and security forces to protect the country and people against this imminent danger”.

Some 45 suspects have been arrested in connection with the terrorism in Jebel Chaambi. Saber Mechri, owner of the storehouse where a large quantity of weapons was found in Mnihla, was among the detainees.

Members of radical salafist group Ansar al-Sharia are among the militants fighting Tunisian forces in the mountains, the interior ministry said.

“Those involved in Jebel Chaambi events include Kamel Gadhgadhi, presumed killer of prominent opposition leader Chokri Belaid, and Abou Iyadh, leader of Tunisia’s jihadist salafists who is wanted for planning the attack on the US embassy,” the interior ministry said.

On Thursday morning, specialised security units raided the Hammam-Lif home of Abou Iyadh (real name Seif Allah Ibn Hussein) but the fugitive was not there.

Also on Thursday, Defence Minister Rachid Sabbagh confirmed that “terrorist elements holed up in Jebel Chaambi in Kasserine province are about to move”, adding that “they receive assistance from other entities”.

Army forces would soon receive “new equipment and devices to monitor landmines and track these terrorist elements”, he added.

For his part, Prime Minister Ali Larayedh said that Tunisia’s “position from terrorism and criminality hasn’t changed, but has even grown firmer”.

“We’ll continue with our efforts until we dismantle this terrorist group and all those who have a proven link to these events. We’ll also develop our counter-terrorism methods and plans,” Larayedh said.

A key part of the strategy to combat the extremists includes revamping the country’s counter-terror laws.

In that vein, a rights committee has been working for months on refining the counter-terrorism law by incorporating respect of human rights and international treaties signed by Tunisia, which provide guarantees for a fair trial.

At a seminar on the topic last week, Human Rights Minister Samir Dilou said that his ministry would speed up the bill drafting and refer it to the government and Constituent Assembly for revision and approval.

The current statute dates back to 2003. But the law has faced criticism for alleged over-reach during the regime of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

In a statement released May 23rd, the interior ministry said seven extremists were charged under the law for allegedly killing an officer on May 2nd in Jebel Jelloud, south of Tunis.

But activist groups, including Human Rights Watch, have said that the law carries loose definitions of terrorism and undermines defendants’ rights.



Tunisia mired in state of emergency

Tunisia’s state of emergency must be extended: Sabbagh


TUNIS (AFP) – The fragile security situation in Tunisia, where radical Islamists are blamed for a wave of violence in recent months, makes it necessary to extend the state of emergency, Defence Minister Rachid Sabbagh said on Friday.


Stone throws of Ansar al-Sharia clash with Tunisian police teargas

Teargas and shots in air as Tunisian police clash with hundreds of Salafi protesters

Published time: May 19, 2013 12:30 RT News

[EXCERPT] “The congress is postponed to another date undecided yet,” Habib Al-Lawz, a leader from the ruling Ennahda party, told a local Radio station on Saturday.