Sudan: al-Burhan, Khalig, Dagalo…Abdalla Hamdok

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January 14, Khartoum  Soldiers clash

Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Sudanese Air Force, Lieutenant General Salah Abdel Khalig, Transitional Military Council (TMC), Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Samuel Ramani is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Politics and International Relations at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

[January 18 2020 Dagalo accuses Salah Gosh of orchestrating NISS clashes ]

Director of intelligence Lieutenant General Abu Bakr Hassan Damblab handed his resignation after clashes between agents of the General Intelligence Service, formerly known as the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), and government forces killed five people including two soldiers. He replaced Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, known as Salah Gosh
Gen Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo accused former intelligence chief Gen Salah Gosh of orchestrating the rebellion.
Gen Gosh’s whereabouts are unclear, with speculation that he fled Sudan after Bashir was toppled.

[January 16 2020 Bashir’s General Intelligence Service troops in trouble ]
Troops from the regular army and from the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF) later stormed the ISS bases amid heavy gunfire.

Two of their officers and three others died, said Sudan’s Chief of Staff, Lt Gen Osman Mohamed Al Hassan.

[January 15 2020]

In the Sudanese capital Khartoum January 14 2020, shots were fired in a dispute between different factions of the country’s armed forces. Soldiers being dismissed from Directorate of General Intelligence Service, formerly National Intelligence and Security Service [NISS] Operations Division fired their weapons in the air in a dispute over payment of their severance. Many NISS soldiers have chosen to be dismissed with a severance as the country’s armed forces restructure in the transition from military rule following Bashir’s ouster. “This division, this operation division, has been there for a really long time. This division is equipped, it is experienced in war, and there’s big numbers of them,” Sudanese journalist Sanosi Adam told VOA from Khartoum . “The real question is why those soldiers who are being discharged are still in service or still holding guns? is this a power thing? do they have leverage over the army?”

[August 28 2019 PM Mohammed Abdalla Hamdok ]

Since oil revenues abruptly ended eight years ago, Sudan’s main foreign exchange earners have been gold and the income from troop deployments in Yemen in support of Saudi forces. Both of these have allegedly fed corruption – and any investigation is likely to focus on General Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagolo, the commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the de facto strongman among the military cabal.
He has promised to abide by the decisions of the civilian government, but whether he will countenance reforms that unravel his business empire – including huge interests in gold mining and export – remains to be seen. Alex de Waal, Tufts University

[August 26 2019]
The new (transitional) prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, took the oath of office on Wednesday, August 21 – on the same day as the new Sovereign Council.

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KHARTOUM, SUDAN – Sudan’s Forces of Freedom and Change, the country’s main opposition alliance, has nominated economist Mohammed Abdalla Hamdok to serve as prime minister in the country’s transitional government.
Economist Mohammed Abdalla Hamdok is expected to be appointed prime minister by Sudan’s sovereign council, which is expected to be sworn in August 19 2019 pursuant to the power-sharing agreement signed August 17 2019. Under the agreement, a military leader would head the 11-member council for the first 21 months, followed by a civilian leader for the next 18. It would also establish a cabinet appointed by the activists and a legislative body and was signed by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy chief of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), and Ahmed al-Rabie, who represented the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella group.. Hamdok served as deputy executive secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa since 2011. He holds a master of arts and doctoral degrees from the School of Economic Studies-University of Manchester, United Kingdom, and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Khartoum.

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Algeria: best prospects for U.S. exporters and investors.

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Brief Description of Call: Join U.S. Ambassador Desrocher for an overview of Algeria’s recent political transition, its economy, business climate, and best prospects for U.S. exporters and investors.
John Desrocher is the U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.desroches
How Direct Line Works

Ambassadors or Principal Officers of U.S. missions overseas host Direct Line webinars or conference calls, often including local government officials, to discuss emerging sectors or new developments. Approximately 30-40 minutes is dedicated to allow participants to ask questions and offer comments.

[April 19 2019 State: in Algiers, don’t watch crimes ]

U.S. government personnel are encouraged to limit non-essential movements during and immediately after large demonstrations and to not participate, watch, or remain near demonstrations or areas where they observe acts of criminality.
Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Bureau of Diplomatic Security
U.S. Department of State

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Egypt: Hosni Mubarak died aged 91

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak died aged 91 on February 25 2020 after undergoing surgery, state television said.

[August 18 2020   Egypt’s Tahrir Square November 18 2011 protest seen today   ]

sisitrump - Edited

April 9 2019



The shadow of the Arab Spring looms. A cynic could point to the fact that in Egypt Hosni Mubarak is at home, acquitted of all charges, and his democratically elected successor, Mohamed Morsi, is dead, ground down by poor treatment in solitary confinement.

[   November 18 2011   ]

Hussein Tantawi with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta

Hussein Tantawi with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta

Egypt’s ‘Friday of One Demand’ largest Tahrir protest since July, as Islamists dominate a rally by forces from across Egypt’s political and ideological spectrum demanding a swift transfer of power. Tens of thousands of Egyptians rallied November 18 in Cairo’s Tahrir square. Egyptians are scheduled to go to the polls later this month for the start of elections to choose a new parliament. Tantawi, who served as Mubarak’s defense minister for 20 years, since February 11, 2011, has been simultaneously the Minister of Defense, and Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,

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Somalia: power-sharing replaced by votes?

somalia clans
Under a new system, Somalis will vote directly for parties, with parliamentary seats being allocated according to the final tallies. Members of parliament will then elect the president and prime minister. The prime minister must come from the majority party in parliament.
The law is expected to replace the existing clan-based, power-sharing model, which gives the country’s main clans equal representation in government.

The proposed system would still ensure clan representation in parliament, however, which has raised concerns about the potential for continued marginalisation of minorities and women. Analysts have questioned whether the country is ready for a popular election.

[September 5 2012 Puntland: Australian African Global Investments shipping in arms for anti-piracy? ]

Australian African Global Investments

Australian African Global Investments

Australian African Global Investments

Australian African Global Investments

In the north-east of Somalia, Saracen and Sterling Corporate Services train and equip a militia group — under the president of Puntland.

In the semi-autonomous Puntland region, they built a force of more than 1,000 men equipped with planes, helicopters and more than 80 vehicles. Large shipments of military assistance for the force are funded from around $50 million coming from Abu Dhabi.

Somali tribal leaders, and the South Africans training the force, explain that it is an anti-piracy coast guard.

Mr Lafras Luitingh registered the company – Australian African Global Investments – in 2006.

It has branches in South Africa, Uganda and other African countries and is involved in logistics, transport and chartering planes and ships.

The Australian company was registered by Taurus Financial Services [Gordon Hatch] in Sydney. A number of the men behind Saracen and Sterling are former South African mercenaries and prominent among them is Mr Luitingh.

[April 7, 2011]

Private Military Company

Private Military Company

 Lafras Luitingh, the chief operating officer of Saracen International

Lafras Luitingh, the chief operating officer of Saracen International

Britain is to urge Arab countries to train the disorganized Libyan rebels, and so strengthen their position on the battlefield before negotiations on a ceasefire, senior British defence sources have indicated. The sources said they were also looking at hiring private security companies, some of which draw on former SAS members, to aid the rebels. These private soldiers could be paid by Arab countries to train the unstructured rebel army. more

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Lebanon: default on loan payments – austerity?

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Team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is in Lebanon to help tackle the country’s deepening economic crisis. The government is yet to decide whether it will default on its loan payments – a move that could lead to unpopular austerity measures.

[October 11 2017 Centcom donates Tucanos to Lebanon ]

[March 24 2015 Lebanese University Tripoli urged to replace Christian director ]

Students at the Lebanese University's Economics and Business Faculty protest at the Tripoli campus in north Lebanon, Monday, March 23, 2015.

Students at the Lebanese University’s Economics and Business Faculty protest at the Tripoli campus in north Lebanon, Monday, March 23, 2015.

Exams have been postponed at LU’s Economics and Business Faculty in Tripoli, Lebanon following demonstrations against the appointment of a Christian director. Around 1,300 students have their classes there. Students have erected protest tents at the entrance to the campus March 23 to keep up pressure for their demand to replace Jamila Yammin with a Sunni director. All branches of Lebanese University will have one month to re-examine the appointments of faculty directors in a manner which respected the National Pact of confessional power-sharing. “Currently, there are 29 Muslims and 20 Christian directors in branches across Lebanon … but we will not dictate a formula,” Students claim a tradition of maintaining an equal number of Sunni and Shiite LU directors, a norm which has prevailed in previous years.

[August 4 2014 The other Tripoli – Lebanon – catches the ISIL bug]

Isil comes to Lebanon

Isil comes to Lebanon

Islamists’ arrival in Lebanon offers the prospect of a mini-civil war around Arsal – and perhaps as far as Tripoli –
For more than a year, the Lebanese army has tried vainly to close the frontier east of Arsal, and a Syrian army victory over rebels in Yabroud on the other side of the border earlier this year suggested that Sunni insurgents might leave Arsal lest they be cut off. But their resurgence shows that the Syrians have nothing like the control they have been claiming in the frontier lands.

[February 13 2012 Syria is quickly approaching an intolerable state]

IRGC General Shateri

IRGC General Shateri

A senior commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, Gen. Hassan Shateri, was assassinated on February 12, when a rebel group ambushed his vehicle while he was returning to Lebanon from Syria.

On February 14 Iran held a funeral ceremony for Shateri in Tehran that was attended by the foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, and the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari. Ghasem Suleimani, the man who heads the external arm of the Revolutionary Guards, known as the Quds force, members of which usually shun public ceremonies, also attended the funeral.

In May 2012, a senior Quds force commander conceded for the first time that Iranian forces were operating in Syria in support of the Assad regime. Perhaps IRGC’s Iranian personnel have been directly involved in fighting against Syrian rebels. Tehran denies any involvement. However, there is evidence that some of Shateri’s Lebanese men have died fighting for Assad in Syria. Anti-Assad forces claim that Iran and Hezbollah are both involved

[January 10, 2012]

General Rajha Dawoud, Syrian Defense Minister

General Rajha Dawoud, Syrian Defense Minister

The situation in Syria is quickly approaching an intolerable state. It could very well be that the Western war dance against Iran is also a warning to the Islamic Republic to stay out of anything involving Syria. The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a close Iranian ally, is teetering on the brink as a civil war in the country escalates. Syrian Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha on January 8 visited Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov which docked a day earlier at Russia’s naval supply facility in Syria’s port city of Tartous, Some media reports said the visit of the Russian warships was a signal of Russia’s support for Assad’s regime but the Russian military denied any connections of the visit with the political situation in the country.
“The naval task force has completed its visit to the Syrian port of Tartus with the aim of replenishing [food and water] provisions. The warships left the Syrian territorial waters on Tuesday afternoon and continued on their route in accordance with their schedule,” the statement said.

There is a widespread perception that the crises with both Iran and Syria are nearing a climax. There is a massive Western naval presence off the coasts of both countries, Israel and the United States are preparing to hold their “largest-ever” joint missile defense drill, code-named “Austere Challenge 12”. It should be noted that this exercise comes on the heels of several other large Israeli war games. Thousands of American soldiers and sophisticated anti-missile systems will land in Israel, and according to a few reports, some of the force and equipment will stay there for months.

Their presence will likely have a double effect of helping Israel shoot down the thousands of missiles aimed at it in the event of a regional conflagration and adding pressure on the Jewish state not to embark on any adventure alone.

In general, sources report an increased rate of transfer of military equipment to American bases around the Middle East in the last few weeks and months. These are very clear preparations for war; yet they need not mean that a strike on Iran is imminent. Such an operation is a complicated endeavor, even for the US.

Just as Iran would need a certain period of time (known as breakout time) from the moment it leaves the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to the moment it builds a bomb, so would the United States need a period of time from when it decides to strike to when it does. It could take weeks if not months to transfer the necessary military personnel, airplanes and (especially) supplies to bases in the region. more
Dennis Ross, who served two years on Obama’s National Security Council and a year as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s special adviser on Iran, said in an interview January 9.
“There are consequences if you act militarily, and there’s big consequences if you don’t act,”

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Algeria: One year of Hirak freedom demonstrations

Now that newly elected President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is sworn in, will the army under the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Defense General Chengriha fade into the background and let Tebboune lead and deliver on his promises? Chengriha was rumored to be Gaid Saleh’s right hand and a main architect of the military’s strategy vis-à-vis the Hirak, making a continuity-based approach highly likely. One thing is certain: those who rise to the top in the post-Gaid Saleh military reshuffle (currently underway) will shape the Algerian security approach to the Hirak and any economic, political, or security reforms attempted by President Tebboune.

The Road Ahead for Algeria’s New President: Beginning or End of Democratic Change?

Some experts view the protest movement as a birthing station for a new generation of leaders to replace the old guard and an outmoded conception of governance. They see legislative elections at the end of the year as a prime forum for members of the pro-democracy movement to try to renew the political class from within.

[April 2 2019 opening of investigations into corruption ]

The Public Prosecutor announces that some people, whose names he does not mention, are banned from leaving the territory by “precautionary measure”.
The Prosecutor General’s Office in Algiers Court announced on Monday that preliminary investigations are being carried out for corruption and illicit transfers of capital abroad, according to an official statement.

The prosecution also announces that some people, whose names it does not mention, are banned from leaving the country by “precautionary measure”.

“In accordance with article 11 paragraph 3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Prosecutor General’s Office at the Algiers Court informs the public that preliminary investigations are being carried out for corruption and illegal transfer capital abroad, “said the statement relayed by the official agency APS.

“In this context and for the necessities of the investigations, the Public Prosecutor at the court of Sidi M’Hamed (Algiers) proceeded to the application of the provisions of Article 36 bis 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedures and took precautionary measures by ordering the prohibition of exit from the national territory against certain persons “, specifies the text.
According to press reports, there are about thirty people, mostly businessmen, close to the presidential circle to be targeted by the communiqué of the Procuratorate. Mahiedine Tahkout, who is in the car dealership and head of an impressive student transport bus park and is close to the former Prime Minister, Ahmed Ouyahia, has been named as one of the targeted people. In a TV statement, Numidia News, reported Sunday on his ban on leaving the country.   Ennahar TV has named Reda Kouninef,

This statement from the prosecutor’s office comes after the arrest in Oum Tboul, near the Tunisian border, Ali Haddad, former president of the forum of business leaders, employers’ organization, and deemed close to the brother of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Since his arrest by customs officials early Sunday morning, Ali Haddad, head of a large group of public works and a media group that has two newspapers and two televisions, has still not given sign of the where he is.

On Sunday, in the early evening, his group denounced via his television, Dzair News, his “disappearance”.

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Tunisia:  new cabinet to root out corruption? Revised list – Ennahda party onboard


Thouraya Jeribi, Minister of Justice npminee

The Ennahda party won seven portfolios in the new lineup and has given the green light to the cabinet, paving the way for a favourable vote in the assembly on February 26 2020.

[ February 20 2020 ]
Tunisia’s prime minister designate Elyess Fakhfakh has decided to keep most of the ministers on the provisional list announced February 15 2020.    The changes made affect only four departments. These are the Ministry of Finance, Industry, Transport, and Communication Technologies. Lobna Jeribi, whose appointment as head of the Ministry of Technology did not please the Ennahdha movement, was replaced by the current CEO of Tunisie Telecom Mohamed Fadhel Kraiem and would be appointed advisor to the head of government.



Minister of National Defense: Imed Hazgui (Independent)

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Noureddine Erray (Independent)

Minister of Justice: Thouraya Jribi (Independent)

Minister of the Interior: Hichemi Mechichi (Independent)

Minister of Finance: Ali Kooli replaced by Mohamed Nizar Yaîch (Independent)

Minister of Industry: Nizar Yaïch replaced by Salah Ben Youssef (Independent)

Minister of Transport: Imed Hammami replaced by Lotfi Zitoun

Minister of Social Affairs: Habib Kchaou

Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Transition: Lobna Jribi replaced by Mohamed Fadhel Kraiem (Independent)

Minister of Investment and International Cooperation: Slim Azzabi

Minister of Education: Mohamed Hamdi

Minister of Higher Education: Khalil Laamiri

Minister of Public Health: Abdellatif Mekki

Minister of Commerce: Mohamed Mselini

Minister of Energy and Mines: Mongi Marzouk

Minister to the Head of Government responsible for relations with the Parliament: Ali Hafsi

Minister of Human Rights and Relations with Civil Society: Ayachi Hammami (Independent)

Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts: Mohamed Ali Toumi

Minister of Cultural Affairs: Chiraz Laatiri (Independent)

Minister of State Areas: Ghazi Chaouachi

Minister of Youth Affairs and Sport: Ahmed Gaaloul

Minister of Women’s Affairs: Asma Shimi (Independent)

Minister of Equipment, Housing and Spatial Planning: Moncef Sliti

Minister of Employment and Vocational Training: Fathi Belhaj

Minister of Public Service: Mohamed Abbou

Minister of Agriculture: Oussama Khriji (Independent)

Minister of Religious Affairs: Ahmed Adhoum (Independent)

Minister of the Environment: Chokri Ben Hassen

Minister of State for Local Affairs: Anouar Maarouf

State Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, in charge of water resources: Aksa Bahri

State Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Salma Ennaifer (Independent)


[February 16 2020]

Tunisia’s prime minister designate Elyess Fakhfakh submitted a list of cabinet nominees to President Kais Saied, with Nizar Yaich as finance minister, Nourredine Erray as foreign minister and Imed Hazgui as defence minister.

But the largest parties are either opposed to his coalition or unenthusiastic about its composition. Fakhfakh has promised to name a government that would draw only from parties he considered aligned with the goals of the revolution and committed to rooting out corruption. If Fakhfakh’s proposal is rejected by parliament next week, a new parliamentary election must follow within three months.

-Minister of National Defense: Imed Hazgui

-Minister of Foreign Affairs: Noureddine Erray

-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs: Salma Ennaifer

-Minister of Justice: Thouraya Jeribi

-Minister of the Interior: Hichem Mechichi

-Minister of Finance: Nizar Yaiche

-Minister of Industry: Salah Ben Youssef

-Minister of Transport: Imed Hammami

-Minister of Social Affairs: Habib Kechaou

-Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy: Lobna Jeribi

-Minister of Investment and International Cooperation: Selim Azzabi

-Minister of Education: Mohamed Hamdi

-Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research: Khalil Laâmiri

-Minister of Health: Abdellatif Mekki

-Minister of Commerce: Mohemd Messlini

-Minister of Energy and Mines: Mongi Marzouk

-Minister to the Head of Government in charge of relations with the Parliament: Ali Hafsi

-Minister of Human Rights and Relations with Civil Society and Constitutional Institutions: Ayachi Hammami

-Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts: Mohamed Ali Toumi

-Minister of Cultural Affairs: Chiraz Laâtiri

-Minister of State and Land Affairs: Ghazi Chaouachi

-Minister of Youth and Sports: Ahmed Gaâloul

-Minister of Women, Family, Children and Seniors: Asma Shiri

-Minister of Equipment: Moncef Selliti

-Minister of Vocational Training and Employment: Fathi Belhaj

-Minister of Public Service, Administrative Reform and the Fight against Corruption: Mohamed Abbou

-Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources: Oussama Kheriji

-Secretary of State to the Minister of Agriculture in charge of Water Resources: Atika Bhar

-Minister of Religious Affairs: Ahmed Adhoum

-Minister of the Environment: Chokri Ben Hassan

-Minister of Local Affairs: Anouar Maârouf
[February 10 2020 UN ambassador, Moncef Baati, out ]
Tunisia’s United Nations ambassador, Moncef Baati, was abruptly summoned to his capital after declaring U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan in breach of international law, Tunisia’s newly elected President Kais Saied had fired Baati—who has served for only five months—following complaints from the United States.

[January 20 2020 Elyes Fakhfakh prime minister designate ]
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Tunisian President Kais Saied on January 20 2020 designated Elyes Fakhfakh as prime minister,    The choice of Fakhfakh, 48, underscores the economic priorities following a decade of low growth, high public debt and declining services since the 2011 revolution that introduced democracy.

[November 13 2019 Ennahda party Ghannouchi Tunisia’s speaker ]
Rached Ghannouchi, 78, leader of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, is elected Tunisia’s parliament speaker after the rival Heart of Tunisia party backed him. It is his first official post since he returned to Tunisia from exile in London after the 2011 revolution.

[November 4 2019 Kais Saied wins presidency ]
Two weeks after Kais Saied was elected the new president of the North African country. Defense Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi and Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui were dismissed by Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. Economic Diplomacy Minister Hatem Ferjani was also fired.

[October 23 2019]
Even with a large mandate, the new president has less direct control of policy than the prime minister and both will quickly face a series of tough challenges including high unemployment rates and fighting corruption. Tunisia has a deeply fragmented legislature in which the largest party, the moderate Islamist Ennahda, has only 52 of the 219 seats.

[October 18 2019]
Conservative law professor Kais Saied has overwhelmingly won the North African country’s presidential election

[  Parliamentary elections   ]

The prime minister will be picked by the parliament that was elected last Sunday.  Although the president has fewer powers than a prime minister the post is still Tunisia’s most senior directly elected official with wide political influence.

The Ennahda party seemed set to face massive loses but stay the strongest party in Tunisia after the October 6 2019 vote, according to exit polls. It follows the first round of a presidential election that garnered much greater public attention. The presidential vote ended inconclusively, forcing a runoff on October 13.

[September 19 2019 ]

A Tunisian court has turned down a request to release jailed media mogul Nabil Karoui, who, along with academic Kais Saied, has advanced to a runoff in Tunisia’s presidential election. “The judge has refused to give a ruling, saying it was not in his jurisdiction,” “We will appeal,” he added. The court did not respond to requests for confirmation.

[September 17 2019]
Official results in Tunisia’s presidential election confirmed a duel in the second round of voting between law professor Kais Saied and imprisoned media mogul Nabil Karoui.

[September 16 2019]
Screenshot 2019-09-16 at 7.51.18 AM - Edited

In July 2019, Tunisia’s first democratically elected president, Beji Caid Essebsi, died, pushing the presidential elections up from November to September. Kais Said and Nabil Karoui say exit polls show they’ve made it to runoff, with preliminary results due on Tuesday. Nabil Karoui presents himself as a champion of the poor and a scourge of government, while his critics describe him as a populist. Kais Saied described his lead as “like a new revolution” in a radio interview, a reference to Tunisia’s 2011 uprising that brought in democracy and set off the Arab Spring revolts elsewhere. Also in the first round was Abdelfattah Mourou, heading a first-time bid for Islamist-inspired party Ennahdha.

[July 3 2019 Tunis: bombs: Body parts were strewn ]

Aymen Smiri died when explosives he was carrying detonated and killed on July 1 2019,

Interior Ministry spokesman Sofiene Zaag told Tunisian radio that police had been hunting for the 23-year-old Smiri, who he described as the “brain” behind the June 27 attacks.

The bombings killed a police officer and injured eight people. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility

[June 27 2019]

tunis bomb

Two suicide blasts rocked the Tunisian capital on June 27 2019 killing at least one police officer and wounding several people.

The first blast involved a suicide bomber who targeted a police patrol on Tunis’ central Charles de Gaulle street, not far from the French embassy.

One police officer was killed, while another was injured, according to the interior ministry. Three civilians were also wounded.

Body parts were strewn on the road around the police car,

[May 2 2019 Square one: Tunisia in trouble ]

Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, lefi

TUNIS (Reuters) – Fuel distribution workers in Tunisia began a three-day strike on May 2 2019 to demand higher wages, leading to long queues and empty pumps at petrol stations across the North African nation. Tunisians have complained about a decline of state services since Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in 2011. The uprising to topple the autocrat heralded a democratic transition but the associated turmoil also led to an economic crisis.

The government is facing rising public demands for more pay as price rise, with inflation at about 7 percent. It is also contending with pressure from international lenders to cut the public wage bill and other spending to shore up state finances. “All services have gone down, we have become like a country where there is a war – no fuel, no medicines, no milk.”

Tunisia raised the minimum wage for industrial and farm workers, as well as pensions for hundreds of thousands of private-sector retirees, by 6.5 percent on May 1 2019, a move aimed at defusing discontent about economic hardship.

Saber Hamrouni  met Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at his residence in Jeddah on two occasions in January and April 2018.   “Ben Ali informed me that he made a mistake in 2011, when the Tunisian revolution broke out. This was not being honest with the Tunisian people about his relatives’ crimes. He wished he had been honest with the Tunisian people since his first speech rather than the third,” claimed Saber Hamrouni.

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Brig. Gen.Ben Ali in Saudi 2018

There is now a danger that the second wave of popular protest in the region may also be heavily influenced by external players.
Factors that are shaping the contemporary Middle East include the growing role of the Saudis who, along with their Gulf allies, are waging a multi-front battle for influence against Qatar and especially Turkey. This regional rivalry is to a large extent both facilitated and explained by the notable absence of the US as a serious diplomatic actor

The Saudis have to a considerable extent seized and held the diplomatic initiative.

They and the UAE have pitched in with financial aid, and Riyadh’s ally, Egypt, has played a role in deploying its diplomatic muscle at the African Union.
While the Saudis appear to be backing the country’s generals, Turkey and Qatar are more closely aligned with Islamists.

It should be clearly stated that none of these external parties are much interested in the voices of popular protest on the ground. .
What you have are effectively two “brands” of authoritarianism which are attempting to push their supporters into positions where they can influence the future. Jonathan Marcus excerpt

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