Exclusion and Despair Make Tunisia’s Border Regions a Powder Keg

Unemployed protestors take to the streets, Tunis, Tunisia, Jan. 22, 2016 (AP photo by Riadh Dridi).
Unemployed protestors take to the streets, Tunis, Tunisia, Jan. 22, 2016 (AP photo by Riadh Dridi).
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Tunisia is often and rightly lauded for the progress it has made since the popular uprising that toppled longtime strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. But social inequality and regional asymmetries are undermining Tunisia’s democratic transition and deepening the chasm between a restless and rebellious periphery and an eastern Mediterranean coast that fears and misunderstands the bitter resentment of border communities. These unaddressed challenges are also making it harder to secure the country from internal upheaval and terrorism. Aggrieved youths increasingly express their anger in fiery protests and street violence. This radical projection of grievances risks feeding a […]

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