Tunisians Point Fingers at Government Security Failures After Resort Attack

Flowers laid in memory of victims at scene of Friday's horrific attack. Photo shared by Farah Samti on twitter.

Flowers laid in memory of victims at scene of Friday's horrific attack. Photo shared by Farah Samti on Twitter.

Tunisians are criticizing government security failures following a terror attack at a beach resort in Sousse, located 140 kilometers south of the capital Tunis.

On June 26, a gunman who was later identified as 23-year-old Seifeddine Rezgui, opened fired at foreign tourists sunbathing on the beach, before pursuing them to the pool and the lobby of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, killing 39 people and injuring 38 others. The following day, social media accounts affiliated with ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

Friday's attack comes less than four months after two other gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs attacked the Bardo Museum in the capital, leaving 23 foreign tourists and a police officer dead.

On social media, Tunisians are blaming the authorities and the government's incompetence in dealing with security threats emanating from violent extremist groups and individuals.

Tunisian journalist Asma Ghrbi tweeted on the day of the attack:

Papillon tweeted:

two attacks in the span of four months in two places that should have been under high surveillance. Around 60 deaths. 0 resignations. no questioning of the government.

Even worse, the regime is accusing the small opposition and wants to involve the people in counter-terrorism.

After Bardo, not a single lesson learnt. Nothing has changed, which made the Sousse attack an evidence.

According to Kais, security forces are not well-trained for counter-terrorism operations, adding that their mission has always been to control the people.

We really are not ready for this. Our police officers are not trained to protect citizens and tourists nor fight terrorism.

Our police have always been trained to contain and subdue a disarmed population and not to protect it. Terrorism is new to them

Wafa Ben Hassine made a similar comment:

And how did the gunman become armed in a country that has the lowest gun ownership rate in the world?

I hear people asking how was the terrorist able to access the beach. It's a beach. It's by definition open. The guy is indoctrinated and armed. If he wants to kill, he will kill even when there is a police officer behind each citizen. Where action is effective it's at this level: why is he indoctrinated? How is he armed?

Users also slammed officials’ declarations and their denial. Hours after the attack on Friday, President Beji Caid Essebsi called for unity and accused government critics for “targeting the Tunisian State, and its security.”

Huffpost Tunisia editor Monia Ben Hamadi described Essebsi's declaration as “delusional”.

The first Essebsi statement after the attack was delusional and in the light of evidence is dangerously horrifying

On the other hand, Prime Minister  Habib Essid announced a number of measures to be taken in the aftermath of the Sousse attack, including deploying army reservists to resorts and archeological sites, and closing mosques outside government control.

However, not everyone seems to be convinced about the effectiveness of these measures.

Measures announced today by Essid, should have been taken three years ago. I am not sure about their effectiveness today


For more updates and reactions, check out Global Voices Checkdesk: Tunisia: Attack on Tourist Hotel in Resort in Sousse


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