Tunisia: Political Crisis Escalates After 8 Soldiers Killed in Ambush

Tunisians are in shock following an ambush which left eight soldiers dead and three injured near the Algerian border. The incident took place on Monday, in the mountainous area of Chammbi in the Governorate of Kasserine, some 290 kilometers south of the capital Tunis. According to media reports, five of the soldiers killed had their throats cut.

The youngest of the soldiers is aged 21, the oldest is 31. This reflects the image of a Tunisian youth being sacrificed. #RIP

For several months Tunisian armed and security forces have been hunting for Islamic militants believed to be related to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), on Mount Chammbi. Land mine explosions in the months of April, May and June left two soldiers dead and at least 14 injured among the security and armed forces. Interim President Moncef Marzouki described the ambush as a “terrorist attack”. “We have entered the period of terrorism. We are going to pass through a difficult period but we shall overcome it”, he said in a televised speech.

Names of soldiers killed on Mount Chaambi.

Names of soldiers killed on Mount Chaambi.

With news of the tragedy spreading, speculations and accusations on social media started to multiply:

conspiracy theories about #Chaambi multiplying in Tunisia. Some blame the RCD (former ruling party of Zeine el Abidin Ben Ali), others Ennahdha (the Islamist movement leading the coalition government) or the Algerian intelligence services.

@_DavidThomson Tunisians have become more paranoid than Americans. You did not mention the Mossad. The last thing we need is to have the aliens as suspects.

When asked about who he thinks is behind the bloody ambush, Tunis-based France24 journalist, David Thomson answered:

I think it is an isolated jihadist group, independent from any other organization. I could be wrong, though

As with the assassination of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi and leftist opposition leader Chokri Belaid, the three-party coalition government led by the Islamist Ennahdha Movement was blamed. Opposition figures and activists have often accused the government of not taking matters of terrorism seriously and of tolerating religious extremists.

Ennahdha's message is clear, if you make us leave [power], we will set #Tunisia on fire. This reminds me of ZABA [former president Zeine el Abidin Ben Ali, whose ouster on January 14, 2011 led to a wave of violence and acts of vandalism]

The ruling counter-revolution which never sought to fight terrorism is responsible for what happened in #Chaambi

We are all moved by what happened in Chaambi. But, quickly accusing Ennahdha is stupid

Monday's bloody ambush is deepening the political crisis Tunisia is already facing following the assassination of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi on July 25. Thousands have been taking to the streets demanding the fall of the three-party coalition government, led by the Islamist Ennahdha Movement. A sit-in demanding the dissolution of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), tasked with drafting a new constitution is under way. According Marsad, a civil society group which tracks the work of the NCA, 60 MPs withdrew from the NCA.

List of MPs for (green) and against (red) the dissolution of the NCA. Source: Marsad.tn

List of MPs for (red) and against (green) the dissolution of the NCA. Source: Marsad.tn

Tunisia's largest labor union has called upon the government to resign and put in place a technocratic one. The union opposed the dissolution of the NCA and suggested the formation of a committee of experts to revise the latest draft constitution in two weeks before submitting it for a vote in the NCA.

Following the UGTT's deceit, the only way left is the street. Let's carry on the battle.

For many, the UGTT can appear soft. But, these are the least populist and most realistic decision, the UGTT took since January 14

As anti-gov protests continue, a military operation in underway to clear Mount Chaambi from suspected Islamic militants.


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  • ppeters602

    Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II

    Could the European Success on Constitutional Monarchy be effective in African Continent?

    I have been reading an article on constitutional monarchy and the monarchist views of Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II by Michael Jones. He explains the constitutional monarchy as follow: A constitutional monarchy is the form of a government in which a monarch is the head of state, but unlike in an absolute monarchy, not the only or even the main source of political power. Political power is vested in the head of the government who is elected by common citizens. Apart from the 16 commonwealth realms, there are 21 constitutional monarchies. There are 2 constitutional monarchies in Africa, 8 in Asia, 10 in Europe and 1 in Oceania. Michael Jones also outlines the ideas shared by Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II on the role of constitutional monarchy in Africa.

    Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II has the belief that for the constitutional monarchy to successfully work in Africa, it is paramount for African leaders to analyze what worked on those European dynasties with a proven record on constitutional monarchy. Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II believes that most African countries do have the history of being run under this system prior independence even though with limited powers then. The same system could work for Africans with them having full control of power, drawing experiences and examples from the success of the European constitutional monarchy system.

    Michael Jones writes that history is in favour of Africa and he refers to the writers of yester-years, like Walter Bagehot and his philosophies on constitutional monarchy, still applicable today.

    What’s your thoughts on these views?



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