Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Tunisia lifts state of emergency, three years after revolt

Source: Reuters - Thu, 6 Mar 2014 12:45 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-war
Boys ride on the back of a tram in Tunis, Tunisia, February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

TUNIS, March 6 (Reuters) - Tunisia has lifted a state of emergency three years after it was imposed, in a largely symbolic move to show security is improving in the North African state.

Since the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisian security forces have been battling militants from the hard-line Islamist movement Ansar al-Sharia, one of the radical groups to emerge after Ben Ali's fall.

"The President of the Republic issued a decree to lift the state of emergency beginning on March 5, 2014," a statement from the presidency said on Thursday.

The state of emergency had kept security forces on alert across the country and given troops and police authority to intervene in protests. Troops have arrested dozens of militants and killed others during raids over the past few months.

It has also affected tourism, which is a major part of Tunisia's economy. Almost 7 million tourists came to the country in 2010, a few months before the uprising. Last year, that was down to about 6 million in 2012.

Attracting more tourists will help Tunisia to stabilise its economy. Then it can carry out reforms demanded by international lenders, who want to see the state reduce its budget deficit and trim public spending.

Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa said on Monday that "terrorism" had left, without giving details. Ansar al Sharia has been blamed for clashes with security forces and for a suicide bombing at a beach resort at the end of last year - the first such attack in Tunisia in more than a decade.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Patrick Markey, Larry King)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus