France to Support Tunisia during Trying Times: Instability and Terrorism

France to Support Tunisia during Trying Times: Instability and Terrorism

Nawal Soueif, Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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North Africa is currently blighted by instability, terrorism, poverty and other negative factors. Similarly, unemployment rates are high in several European nations and France also is blighted by terrorism. Therefore, with convulsions still rocking many societies in North Africa since the so-called Arab Spring, and with the European Union being faced with economic hardship in several nations, then France is hoping to steady the ship in Tunisia by providing economic and political support.

President Hollande of France remains mainly unpopular at home but internationally he often steps in quickly. For example, France responded to events in the Central African Republic and Mali. Also, it is known that France is providing support to Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram based on the close relationship between France and Chad. However, certain weak spots remain, notably actions towards Syria but overall this nation is responding to events rather than just sitting on the sideline. Indeed, the recent terrorist attack in Burkina Faso once more witnessed France helping quickly.

After Hollande met Prime Minister Habib Essid of Tunisia many important announcements were made. This notably applies to the promise of $1.1 billion dollars of economic assistance over the next five years. Not surprisingly, the economic package is firmly fixed on the woeful economic situation in Tunisia, where mass unemployment is hindering the delicate moves being made in relation to democracy. Therefore, the French presidency stated after the meeting between Hollande and Essid that “A major aspect of the plan aims to help poor regions and young people, putting the focus on employment.”

Of course, given the prevailing conditions in Libya and the growing tentacles of ISIS (Islamic State) and the old henchmen of al-Qaeda, and the conniving ways of the Muslim Brotherhood, then clearly Tunisia faces an enormous task. Indeed, Sunni Takfiri terrorist attacks in Tunisia have decimated the tourist industry along with regional instability and political tensions at home.

The political office of Hollande stressed “Five years after the revolution, Tunisia has succeeded in its democratic transition but remains confronted by major economic, social and security challenges.”

France 24 reports A little more than five years after Mohamed Bouazizi, an impoverished Tunisian street vendor, set himself ablaze – sparking nationwide protests that spread across the Arab world – Tunisia has made considerable strides in its democratic transition. But economic woes continue to cripple the so-called cradle of the Arab Spring.”

On top of this, thousands of Sunni Takfiri jihadists from Tunisia have flocked to Iraq and Syria and joined various terrorist groups, including ISIS. Therefore, with the Russian Federation increasing its support towards Syria – and with Iraq being shored up more than one year ago (nation still blighted by terrorism and sectarianism) – it is likely that more Tunisian terrorists will return home, or try to move to Europe given the bizarre policies of Chancellor Merkel of Germany. Given this reality, and the known agitation of the Muslim Brotherhood throughout North Africa, then economic demonstrations and the curfew imposed will test the government of Tunisia to the full. Hollande, therefore, is extremely worried and for this reason France is trying to support the embattled nation of Tunisia.

http://www.france24.com/en/20160122-tunisia-prime-minister-economic-unrest-curfew

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/contents/afp/2016/01/france-tunisia-diplomacy-aid.html

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Africa, Europe, Geopolitics, Terrorism