Describing a decade of developments in North Africa is no simple task. The last ten years have offered each North African State its own redefining moment(s) to grapple with, making a case for observing their distinctive contexts and the complex processes stemming from the different choices and strategies adopted by these countries.
In many countries, the COVID-19 outbreak brought to the surface the sad reality of poor governance in the public health sector. In Tunisia, the pandemic only exacerbated an already glaring problem. From 2013 onwards, Tunisian health professionals highly mobilized and contested the rapid decline of public health services.
It is hard to predict the outcome of Tunisia’s presidential election, whose first round takes place on 15 September. From one perspective, this is a good thing – an encouraging sign of how much Tunisia’s democratic transition has succeeded. After all, a genuinely open election remains a rarity in the Arab world.
Since the so-called Arab Spring stormed North Africa in 2011, security cooperation with partner countries along the Southern flank of the Mediterranean Sea has been a primary concern for NATO. The collapse of long-standing regimes in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia has forced the North Atlantic alliance to reconsider its role in the region, exploring options to accompany these countries in their difficult democratization processes.
On 30 June 2017 the Tunisian army celebrated its 61st anniversary. On that occasion the Armed Forces presented their new military uniform. According to the spokesperson for the Tunisian Ministry of Defence, Belhassen Oueslati, the renewed attire is part of new equipment received from international partners, remarking the efforts to modernise the military and adapt it to the new challenges the country faces.
The years preceding the Arab Spring were rather calm ones for the armed forces of the Arab world: two major conventional campaigns (Iraq 2003 and Lebanon 2006) barely involved the military, and terrorism was mostly under control in Algeria and Yemen. Elsewhere all was quiet on the Arab front. The Arab Spring changed this in more ways than one: to start with, it turned the militaries of Tunisia, Syria and Egypt into political actors, and split those of Yemen and Libya in two.
Tunisia is one of the key partners for Italian and European politics in the southern Mediterranean. At least, it should be so. The perception, on the other hand, is that most European partners have forgotten Tunisia. The reason is simple: the country had a relatively peaceful “revolution” if compared with other North African countries and five years after taking its path towards democracy this seems to be successfully launched. Unlike Libya or Syria, Tunisia is at peace.
With parliamentary elections scheduled for this Sunday, Tunisia – a small country unused to extensive English-language media coverage – is receiving a rare burst of press. This week's stories on the country have tended to reiterate two dominant narratives: (1) Tunisia is a country riven by a core ideological conflict between secularists and Islamists, and (2) disproportionate numbers of young men have left Tunisia to fight for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, making Salafi jihadism a central focus of coverage on the country.
The Ennahda’s electoral meeting in Douar Hichar on October 12 2014 in the suburbs of Tunis opened with a prayer swiftly followed by the audience singing the national anthem.
A series of lectures held by international guests and addressed to experts and academics, dealing with a variety of issues concerning the evolution of regional and global scenarios.
With four events starting from May, the focus of our upcoming series has been the "Great Middle East".
The event has been held in Milan, ISPI (Via Clerici, 5).
Addressed to academics, researchers, journalists, students and doctoral candidates.
For any further information please contact:
Dr. Carolina de Stefano