Govt extends 2015 state of emergency

The state of emergency has been in place since a November 2015 jihadist bombing in Tunis that killed 12 presidential guards on a bus.

Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi speaks during the opening of international investment conference Tunisia 2020, in Tunis, Tunisia November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

President Beji Caid Essebsi has decided "to extend the state of emergency for three months from 16 February", his office told AFP.

The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group claimed the attack as well as bombings earlier in 2015 at the Bardo National Museum and at a beach resort that killed 59 foreign tourists and a Tunisian guard.

They were part of an ongoing jihadist insurgency since a 2011 revolution toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The government has repeatedly renewed the state of emergency despite its assurances that security has improved in the North African state.

The state of emergency grants emergency powers to the police and in theory grants authorities the right to prohibit strikes and meetings likely to provoke "disorder".

It also allows measures "to ensure control of the press".

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed told local radio station Mosaique FM on Wednesday that the state of emergency would be "definitively lifted in three months".

Defence Minister Farhat Horchani added that there had been a "major improvement" in the security situation.

"But as long as our situation is linked to Libya and as long as Libya does not have a government that is in control of the situation... the threat exists," he said.

Tunisia shares a 500 kilometre (310-mile) border with Libya, a country plagued by chaos since the 2011 fall of its longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

Jihadist groups including IS have taken advantage to set up operations in ungoverned areas of the country.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Meet 76-year-old 'Shosh' seeking to replace Rigathi Gachagua

Meet 76-year-old 'Shosh' seeking to replace Rigathi Gachagua

Ruto’s charged Eldoret rally and his 4 promises

Ruto’s charged Eldoret rally and his 4 promises

Red Card 2022: IEBC asked to block 25 politicians from vying in elections [Full List]

Red Card 2022: IEBC asked to block 25 politicians from vying in elections [Full List]

Kalonzo is so confused that he has gone home to herd cows - Ruto

Kalonzo is so confused that he has gone home to herd cows - Ruto

Mt Kenya leaders have divided support for Raila — Moses Kuria

Mt Kenya leaders have divided support for Raila — Moses Kuria

Inside Uhuru’s grand plans to tour  Mt Kenya with Martha Karua

Inside Uhuru’s grand plans to tour Mt Kenya with Martha Karua

Raila claps back at DP Ruto for demeaning Martha Karua

Raila claps back at DP Ruto for demeaning Martha Karua

Setback for Kenya Kwanza as Muturi’s participation declared illegal

Setback for Kenya Kwanza as Muturi’s participation declared illegal

Maai Mahiu accident survivor recounts last moments before tragic crash

Maai Mahiu accident survivor recounts last moments before tragic crash