Concern for Tunisia's domestic peace
Following the assassination of opposition politician and lawyer Chokri Belaid on 6 February in Tunis, there have been protests across Tunisia. A country-wide general strike is expected for 8 February. The Federal Foreign Office has amended its travel and security advice.
Protests in Tunis
During his trip to south-east Asia, Foreign Minster Guido Westerwelle expressed “great concern for Tunisia’s domestic peace”. He called on all political leaders of the government and the opposition “both to remember that they are responsible for the best interest of the entire country and also not to jeopardize the accomplishments of the Jasmine revolution at this important moment in the life of the young Tunisian democracy”.
Just the day before he was murdered, Chokri Belaid had warned of an escalation of political violence in Tunisia. As a human rights lawyer, he had spent several years in prison under former head of state Ben Ali. He was also one of the harshest critics of the current government. Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali has condemned his assassination and called for the formation of a technocratic cabinet.
Continuing the constitutional process
A national constituent assembly emerged from the elections on 23 October 2011. It is to adopt a new constitution for Tunisia and to prepare new parliamentary and presidential elections. Foreign Minister Westerwelle said that the constitutional process, which has made much progress, must not be put at risk, adding that it was a matter of urgency to ascertain the facts about Chokri Belaid’s assassination. The German Foreign Minister said this would send the important message “that acts of political violence will in no way be tolerated in the new Tunisia.”
Supporting change in Tunisia
Germany is supporting democratic change in Tunisia through a transformation partnership. This partnership among equals secures the accomplishments of the Jasmine revolution in Tunisia by providing more than 50 million euros for more than 100 projects.
Information for travellers
The Federal Foreign Office is constantly updating its Travel and Security Advice.
Last updated 08.02.2013