Return to homeCountry Reports:
Travel Docs: http://www.traveldocs.com/tn/index.htm The population of Tunisia, bordering on
Libya and Algeria, was about 98.5% Muslim.
(SFC, 5/6/96, p.A-1,4)
Tunisia measures 63,170 square miles (163,610 square km).
The Bardo National Museum in Tunis contains the world’s finest
collection of Roman mosaics.
(SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T5)
Kairouan is the 4th holiest city of the Muslim world and contains
the Great Mosque of Kairouan.
(SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T5)
100Mil BC Spinosaurus, a 55 foot,
8 ton dinosaur with crocodile-like jaws lived during this time in
Argentina, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria. The Spinosaurus lived in what
later became North Africa during the Cretaceous period (112Mil BC
BC-93.5Mil BC). Fossil evidence in 2020 indicated that the
Spinosaurus was possibly a predatory water-loving dinosaur.
(http://tinyurl.com/r6kp2)(ABC News, 4/29/20)
814BC Carthage was founded by Phoenician traders.
(SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T5)
814-813BC Elissa-Dido, Princess
of Tyre, Jezebel’s grandniece, fled to North Africa after her
brother, King Pygmalion, murdered her husband, Tyre’s high priest.
She was said to have then founded Carthage on a hilltop now called
Byrsa. Byrsa means Oxhide and it was said that Elissa could have as
much ground as could be covered by the hide of an ox. She cut the
hide into narrow strips and so claimed the whole hill.
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.174)(SSFC, 12/10/00, p.T8)
586BC The Jewish Ghriba synagogue in Djerba,
Tunisia, was later said to date to about this time. The first Jews
who arrived were said to have brought a stone from the ancient
temple of Jerusalem that was destroyed by the Babylonians.
300BC Carthago Nova (Cartagena, Spain) had coins
minted in the Greek style. One face bears the image of Melqart,
chief god of Tyre, the other face shows a horse and palm tree,
emblems of Carthage.
(NG, Aug., 1974, S.W. Matthews, p.171)
264BC Rome initiated the Punic Wars with Carthage,
an oligarchic empire that stretched from the northern coast of
Africa to the Strait of Gibralter. The primary cause was the
Carthaginian expansion into the Greek cities of Sicily. Carthage was
forced to surrender its control over the western region of Sicily
and this marked the end of the first Punic War. The three Punic
Wars: 264-241 BC, 218-202 BC, 149-146 BC, also known as the
Carthaginian Wars, finally resulted in the destruction of Carthage
and Roman control of the western Mediterranean.
(eawc, p.14)(HNQ, 8//00)
262BC War broke out between Carthage and Rome.
Three long wars lasted till 146BC when Carthage was destroyed by
(Enc. of Africa, 1976, p.167-8)
261BC Rome captured a Punic quinquereme. In two
months they copied it plank by plank and built 100 like it and
eventually the Roman fleet was able to defeat the Carthaginians.
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.178)
256BCE The Carthaginian city of Kerouane was
sacked by the Romans.
(NG, 8/04, p.48)
250-150BC Punic wars between Rome and Carthage.
241BC Mar 10, The Battle of Aegusa in which the
Roman fleet sank 50 Carthaginian ships occurred.
218BC The Romans renewed their efforts against
Carthage as Carthage expanded into Spain. This 2nd Punic War lasted
16 years after which Carthage was forced to surrender al of its
territory to Rome except for its capital city in North Africa.
217BC Jun 21, Carthaginian forces led by Hannibal
destroyed a Roman army under Consul Gaius Flaminicy in a battle at
Lake Trasimenus in central Italy. Hannibal of Carthage attacked
Roman Consul Flaminio at Tuoro on Lake Trasimeno in Umbria.
Hannibal’s army of Numidians, Berbers, Libyans, Gascons, and
Iberians was down to one elephant after crossing the Alps with 39.
His army of 40,000 drove the Romans into the lake where 15,000 died
as opposed to 1,500 of Hannibal’s men. Two nearby towns were named
Ossaia (boneyard) and Sanguineto (bloodied).
(SFEM, 10/12/97, p.37)(HN, 6/21/98)
217BC During the Second Punic War Rome appointed
Quintus Fabius Maximus as dictator to stave off Hannibal’s
(ON, 9/05, p.6)
216 BC Aug 2, Hannibal Barca [of Carthage] won his
greatest victory over the Romans at Cannae. Hannibal seized a grain
depot in the small village of Cannae in order to lure the Romans to
battle. Having crossed over the Alps, Hannibal‘s forces defeated the
Romans at the Trebia River and also at Lake Trasimene. Thereafter,
the Romans were unwilling to commit a large force to attacking
Hannibal. However, Hannibal‘s spies had learned two Roman consuls
shared command of the legions and attempted to goad the more
impetuous of the two into battle at Cannae.
(HN, 8/2/98)(HNQ, 11/16/00)
206BC Rome destroyed Carthaginian forces at the
Battle of Metaurus in northern Italy.
(ON, 9/05, p.7)
204BC-202BC Greece and most of Asia Minor came
under the control of the Romans after the Roman victory over
Carthage in the 2nd Punic War.
(WSJ, 12/26/97, p.A7)(ON, 9/05, p.7)
203BC Hannibal and his army returned home to
defend Carthage against Roman forces.
(ON, 9/05, p.7)
202BC Roman forces under Scipio Africanus defeated
Hannibal of Carthage on the Plains of Zama in northern Tunisia.
149BC-146BC Rome and Carthage fought the 3rd
Punic War that resulted in the total defeat of Carthage. All
inhabitants of Carthage were sold into slavery and the city was
burned to the ground. As a result of the Punic wars Rome expanded
its empire to cover Spain, North Africa, Greece, Asia Minor and
(eawc, p.15)(HNQ, 8/9/00)
146BC Roman forces breached the walls of Carthage.
All inhabitants were sold into slavery. The city was burned to the
ground and the land was sown with salt.
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.174)(NG, 8/04, p.46)
31BC Rome under Emperor
Augustus annexed the Carthage territory.
(SSFC, 12/10/00, p.T8)
162 The Antonine Baths were
completed in Carthage after 17 years of construction.
(SSFC, 12/10/00, p.T8)
230 A Roman coliseum was built
in the town of El Jem that could hold 30,000.
(SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T5)(AP, 10/19/98)
230 Quintus Septimius Florens
Tertullianus (anglicized as Tertullian), early Christian apologist,
died. He was a church leader and prolific author of Early
Christianity. Tertullian was born about 150 and lived and died in
Carthage (later Tunisia).
439 Oct 9, Ancient city of
Carthage was captured by Genseric the Vandal. [see Oct 19,24]
439 Oct 19, The Vandals, led by
King Gaiseric, took Carthage and quickly conquered all the coastal
lands of Algeria and Tunisia. Egypt and the Libyan coast remained in
(Enc. of Africa, 1976, p.168)(HN, 10/19/98)
632-661 The Rashidun Caliphate, also known as the
Rightly Guided Caliphate, comprising the first four caliphs in
Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death. At its height,
the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant,
Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and
Central Asia in the east. It was the one of the largest empires in
history up until that time.
902 Aug 1, The Aghlabid rulers
of Ifriqiyah (modern day Tunisia) captured Taormina, Sicily.
1091 A trading deal was made
between Mahdiyah, near Tunis, and Genoa.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R50)
c1200-1300 Sidi Bou Said was a 13th century Sufi
holy man. A town 12 miles from Tunis was named after him. It was
closed to non-Muslims until the 1820s.
(SSFC, 8/4/02, p.C12)
1332 May 27, Ibn Khaldun
(d.1406), Berber historian, was born in Tunis. He was also a social
scientist and political activist and developed theories on economics
and politics. He authored the "Muqaddimah" (introduction to
history), that gave an in-depth analysis of the cyclical nature of
the rise, maturation and decline of political regimes and economies.
“Only tribes held together by a group feeling can survive in a
1/11/99, p.R20)(Econ, 1/28/12, p.68)
1518 Algiers and Tunis, Barbary
states in North Africa, were founded.
1530s Khayr Ad-Din (d.1546) known by the European
name Barbarossa, meaning Redbeard, united Algeria and Tunisia as
military states under the Ottoman caliphate. He was a Barbary pirate
and later as admiral of the Ottoman fleet.
1535 Holy Roman Emperor Charles
V led a naval expedition to Tunis against Barbarossa. The foray
proved successful, but Barbarossa escaped and continued to fight.
(WSJ, 7/21/08, p.A11)
1546 Barbarossa, one of the
great figures in the court at Istanbul, died. Khayr Ad-Din was a
Barbary pirate and later, as admiral of the Ottoman fleet, he united
Algeria and Tunisia as military states under the Ottoman caliphate
in the 1530s.
1554 Dragut, leader of the
Mediterranean pirates, recaptured Mehedia, Tunisia, from the
(TL-MB, 1988, p.18)
1655 Apr 4, Battle at Postage
Farina, Tunis: English fleet licked Barbarian pirates.
1655 Apr 28, English admiral
Blake beat a Tunisian pirate fleet.
1795 In Tripoli Pasha Yusef
Karamanli deposed his older brother Hamet in a bloodless coup.
(ON, 10/06, p.8)
1798 Mar 26, Tunis, under the
rule of Bey Hamuda Pasha, signed a treaty of peace and friendship
with the US following negotiations with William Eaton. The American
Revolutionary War veteran had been recently appointed consul to the
North African kingdom.
(ON, 10/06, p.7)
1800 Jan 10, The US Senate
ratified a peace treaty with Tunis.
(ON, 10/06, p.7)
1815 Aug 5, A peace treaty with
Tripoli, which followed treaties with Algeria (Jun 30) and Tunis
(Aug 28), brought an end to the Barbary Wars. Commodores Stephen
Decatur and William Bainbridge had conducted successful operations
against the Barbary States of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli.
(HN, 8/5/98)(WSJ, 10/9/01, p.A22)(ON, 10/06,
1846 The mufti of Tunis wooed
the British by closing his slave markets.
(Econ, 8/22/15, p.51)
1881 May 12, The Treaty of
Bardo established Tunis [Tunisia] as a French protectorate. The
French withdrew their forces after signing the treaty. The terms of
the agreement gave France responsibility for the defense and foreign
policy decisions of Tunisia. Henceforth, Tunis became a French
1890 The Cathedral of St. Louis
was built in a suburb north of Tunis.
(SSFC, 12/10/00, p.T8)
1902 Aug 3, Habib Bourguiba,
1st president of Tunisia, was born.
1903 Aug 3, Habib Bourguiba
(d.2000), later president and independence leader, was born in
Monastir. Some said the papers were doctored and that he was born
(SFC, 4/7/00, p.D5)
1930s Habib Bourguiba founded the Neo-Destour
nationalist movement dedicated to end French colonial rule.
(SFC, 4/7/00, p.D5)
1934 Sep 3, Tunisia began its
move for independence.
1938 Apr 9, In Tunisia French
troops cracked down on nationalist-inspired rioting in Tunis. 122
Tunisians were killed by French troops. Tunisians remembered this as
1939 Bahi Ladgham was arrested
and sentenced to prison for plotting against the state’s security.
(SFC, 4/16/98, p.B4)
1942 Nov, German troops arrived
in Tunisia. The nation was home to some 100,000 Jews at the time.
The Germans imposed anti-Semitic policies that included fines,
forcing Jews to wear Star of David badges and confiscating property.
More than 5,000 Jews were sent to forced labor camps, where 46 are
known to have died. About 160 Tunisian Jews in France were sent to
European death camps.
1943 Jan 22, Axis forces pulled
out of Tripoli for Tunisia, and destroyed bases as they left.
1943 Feb 13, There was a German
assault on Sidi Bou Zid, Tunisia, as Gen. Eisenhower visited the
1943 Feb 14, A German offensive
was made through the de Faid pass in Tunisia.
1943 Feb 15, The Germans broke
the U.S. lines at the Fanid-Sened Sector in Tunisia.
1943 Feb 16, Withdrawing Africa
Corps reached the Mareth-line in North Africa.
1943 Feb 18, Rommel took three
towns in Tunisia, North Africa. The intercepted communications of an
American in Cairo provided a secret ear for the Desert Fox.
1943 Feb 19, German tanks under
brig. general Buelowius attacked Kasserine Pass, Tunisia.
1943 Feb 20, German troops of
the Afrika Korps broke through the Kasserine Pass, defeating U.S.
1943 Feb 21, German tanks and
two infantry battalions broke the Allied line and took Kasserine
Pass in North Africa.
1943 Feb 23, German troops
pulled back through the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia.
1943 Feb 25, U.S. troops retook
the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, where they had been defeated five
1943 Feb 26, The German assault
moved to Beja, North Tunisia.
1943 Mar 6, Battle at Medenine,
North-Africa: Rommel's assault attack.
1943 Mar 10, Hitler called
Rommel back from Tunisia in North Africa. The intercepted
communications of an American in Cairo provided a secret ear for the
1943 Mar 18, American forces
took Gafsa in Tunisia. In the crucible of Operation Torch, the men
of Sub-Task Force Goalpost received their baptism of fire capturing
the Moroccan town of Port Lyautey.
1943 Mar 21, British 8th army
opened an assault on Mareth line, Tunisia.
1943 Mar 23, Germans counter
attacked US lines in Tunisia.
1943 Mar 27, US began an
assault on Fondouk-pass, Tunisia.
1943 Apr 19-1943 Apr 20, Lance
Sgt. Haane Manahi (d.1987) of New Zealand performed gallant actions
against overwhelming odds in the bloody battle for Takrouna, a
fortified citadel in Tunisia, North Africa. In 2007 the Maori
trooper was posthumously honored he 64 years after he was denied a
top gallantry award despite a commendation signed by four commanding
1943 Apr 22, There was German
counter attack in North Tunisia.
1943 May 6, British 1st army
opened an assault on Tunis.
1943 May 7, The last major
German strongholds in North Africa, Tunis and Bizerte, fell to
1943 May 9, The 5th German
Panzer army surrendered in Tunisia.
1943 May 11, Hermann Goering
division in Tunisia surrendered.
1943 May 12, Axis forces in
Tunisia and all of North Africa surrendered.
(AP, 5/12/97)(HN, 5/12/98)
1943 May 20, French, British
and US held a victory parade in Tunis, Tunisia.
1943 In Tunisia Khaled
Abdelwahhab hid a group of Jews on his farm outside Mahdia, saving
them from the Nazi troops occupying the North African nation. In
2007 Abdelwahhab became the first Arab to be nominated for
recognition as "Righteous Among the Nations," an honor bestowed on
non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from Nazi persecution.
1953 May, Reports claimed that
200 young Muslims tried to invade the Jewish quarter and had
provoked an Arab-Jewish riot. Bahi Ladgham challenged the French
authorities to permit an int’l. investigation.
(SFC, 4/16/98, p.B4)
1953-1973 Bahi Ladgham (d.1998 at 85) was
secretary general of the Neo-Destour Party, dedicated to
(SFC, 4/16/98, p.B4)
1956 Mar 20, Tunisia was
granted independence by France. Tunisia became an independent nation
under the leadership of Habib Bourguiba, a Francophone lawyer. He
launched a campaign advocating birth control. By 2003 the fertility
rate plunged from 7.2 in the 1960s to 2.08. Bourguiba created a
paternalistic and monopolistic ruling party that continued for 3
(WUD, 1994, p.1685)(EWH, 1968, p.1247)(SFEC,
4/12/98, p.T5)(SFC, 4/16/98, p.B4)(WSJ, 8/8/03, p.A1)(Econ, 1/22/11,
1956 Tunisia a Personal Status
Code extending several rights to women and abolishing polygamy.
1957 Mar 30, Tunisia and
Morocco signed a friendship treaty in Rabat.
1957 Jul 25, The monarchy in
Tunisia was abolished in favor of a republic. Habib Bourguiba
(1903-2000) began serving as president and continued to 1987.
1958 Iraq’s Prime minister
Fadhel al-Jamali (1903-1997) was sentenced to death after a military
coup. He was freed after Morocco interceded and he later became an
advisor to Pres. Habib Bourguiba who granted him citizenship.
(SFC, 5/27/97, p.A22)
1959 Nov 8, Tunisian Pres.
Habib Bourguiba's Nes Destour party won every chair.
1960 The per capita income was
under $200 and the illiteracy rate was more than 80%.
(SFC, 5/6/96, p.A-4)
1969-1970 Bahi Ladgham served as premier.
(SFC, 4/16/98, p.B4)
1970 Sep 27, A cease-fire
accord was signed in Cairo between the Jordanian army and
Palestinian guerrillas by King Hussein and Yasser Arafat brokered by
the Arab peace committee headed by Bahi Ladgham of Tunisia.
(SFC, 4/16/98, p.B4)(http://tinyurl.com/6e3v9s)
1971 Habib Bourguiba was the
first Arab leader to publicly advocate mutual recognition with
(SFC, 4/7/00, p.D5)
1973 Tunisia banned the
marriage of Muslim to non-Muslims. The ban was lifted in 2017.
1977 Sep 10, Convicted murderer
Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant, became the last person to
date to be executed by the guillotine in France.
(SFEC, 2/9/97, Z1 p.6)(AP, 9/10/97)
1981 In Tunisia radical
preacher Rached Ghannouchi and other intellectuals, inspired by
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, founded the Islamic Tendency Movement,
which denounced violence and endorsed pluralism and democracy. He
was accused of fomenting unrest and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In 1987 he was sentenced to life behind bars with hard labor under
the regime of Habib Bourguiba.
1982 Aug 30, Palestinian
Liberation Organization left Beirut, Lebanon, and moved to Tunis,
Tunisia [see Aug 21]. American and European forces left Lebanon
following the departure of the PLO, but returned following the
September death Bashir Gemayel.
(SFC, 11/11/04, p.A18)(Econ, 5/14/16, SR p.13)
1985 Aug 21, Tunisia expelled
253 Libyans in apparent retaliation for Libya’s expulsion of over
20,000 Tunisian workers in recent weeks.
1985 Oct 1, Israeli forces
staged an air raid on PLO-headquarter at Tunis and 68 people were
killed. Yasser Arafat narrowly escaped death.
(WSJ, 11/12/04, p.A11)
1987 Nov 7, Zine El Abidine Ben
Ali became president of Tunisia after doctors declared Habib
Bourguiba (84) medically unfit to govern. Mr. Ben Ali led a peaceful
coup that ended the 30 year rule of Habib Bourguiba. "The Tunisians
are Sunni Muslims and deny polygamy, admit abortion, and abjure the
(SFC, 5/6/96, p.A-4)(WSJ, 6/22/95, p.A-5)(SFC,
1988 Apr 16, Abu Jihad, [Khalil
al-Wazzir], PLO-leader, was murdered by Israeli assassins in
Tunisia. They left the chief strategist of the Palestinian uprising
with 170 bullets in his body. The Palestine Liberation Organization
accused Israel of assassinating al-Wazir, a top PLO military figure.
Palestinians reacted angrily, and at least 14 were shot and killed
by Israeli troops during clashes in the occupied Gaza Strip and West
Bank. In 2012 Israel admitted responsibility for the killing of Abu
(AP, 4/16/98)(AP, 1/22/06)(AP, 11/1/12)
1988 Dec 15, U.S. Ambassador
Robert H. Pelletreau Jr. telephoned the PLO's headquarters in
Tunisia, one day after President Reagan authorized direct talks.
1989 Tunisia held elections
which were heavily falsified. An Islamist-backed coalition still
managed to win 17 percent of the vote. Islamist leader Rached
Ghannouchi fled to Algeria. Hundreds of Islamist activists who
stayed behind were thrown into prison, often on flimsy charges. In
1991 Ghannouchi moved to Britain.
1989 The Arab Maghreb Union was
created to encourage free trade between Algeria, Libya, Mauritania,
Morocco and Tunisia. It failed to hold summit meetings after 1994.
(Econ, 5/29/10, p.50)
1991 In Tunisia military
officers allegedly held secret meetings with a view to toppling Ben
Ali. The case became known as the "Bakaret Essahel affair", named
after a village 45 km (28 miles) south of Tunis. The officers
involved were tortured.
1992 Tunisia’s Pres. Zine
al-Abidine Ben Ali banned the Islamist Ennahda party.
1994 Tunisia held its first
multiparty parliamentary elections.
(SFC, 10/28/99, p.A13)
1996 The population of Tunisia
was about 9 million.
(SFC, 5/6/96, p.A-1,4)
1998 The Tunisian film "Honey
and Ashes" opened in the US.
(SFEC, 10/4/98, DB p.53)
1999 Mar 26, Hillary Clinton
continued her 12-day African tour with a speech in Tunis at a
women's rights conference.
(SFC, 3/27/99, p.C1)
1999 Oct 25, In Tunisia Pres.
Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali won a 3rd term in office with over 99% of
the vote. It was the nation's first multiparty presidential vote.
(SFC, 10/26/99, p.B2)
1999 Algeria, Libya and
Tunisia agreed to share the northwest Sahara aquifer system (NWSAS).
(Econ, 10/9/10, p.87)(http://tinyurl.com/25w5boa)
2000 Apr 6, Habib Bourguiba
former president and independence leader, died at age 96.
(SFC, 4/7/00, p.D5)
2000 Jan 19, Bettino Craxi
(65), former 2-term Italian premier, died in Tunisia. He had fled
Italy in 1994 to escape a corruption jail sentence.
(WSJ, 1/20/00, p.A1)(Econ, 1/9/10, p.53)
2002 Apr 11, In Tunisia a gas
tanker truck crashed into the wall of the El Ghriba synagogue on the
island of Djerba and killed 14 Germans, 6 Tunisians and a Frenchman.
The government at first called it an accident. Later evidence
indicated that it was an act of terrorism. Nizar Nawar (24), a
Tunisian citizen who had studied in Canada, was the driver. Al Qaeda
later claimed responsibility. In 2006 a Spanish court sentenced two
men to a total of 10 years in prison for their part in a suicide
bombing. In 2006 Nawar’s uncle, Belgacem Nawar (44), was convicted
in Tunis and sentenced to years in prison for aiding in the attack.
(SFC, 4/17/02, p.A8)(SFC, 4/24/02, p.A7)(WSJ,
5/2/02, p.A13)(SSFC, 5/19/02, p.A3)(WSJ, 8/20/02, p.A1)(AP,
5/10/06)(SFC, 6/8/06, p.A3)
2002 May 7, An EgyptAir Boeing
737 with 62 people crashed in bad weather near Tunis. 18 were
(SFC, 5/8/02, p.A15)
2002 Jun 17, It was reported
that fundamentalist Tunisian Jews on Djerba Island were exempt from
the country’s mandatory secular education. The numbered about a
(WSJ, 6/17/02, p.A16)
2002 Jun 21, Eleven people
drowned off Tunisia while swimming to a boat they hoped would take
them to Italy.
2002 Sep 2, Tunisia's highest
court upheld jail terms against opposition leader Hamma Hammami,
head of the outlawed Communist Workers Party, and two officials of
his political party.
2003 Jun 20, A boat carrying
some 250 people toward Italy sank off the Tunisian coast, killing at
least 50 people. The boat's occupants were all thought to be illegal
(AP, 6/20/03)(AP, 6/22/03)
2003 Sep 30, In the largest
terrorism trial in Belgium's history Nizar Trabelsi of Tunisia, who
once played professional soccer in Germany, received the maximum
sentence of 10 years in prison from a court that also convicted 17
other men and acquitted five others.
2003 Dec 5, In Tunisia an
informal, two-day summit brought leaders from five southern European
countries together with five of their counterparts from across the
2003 Dec 6, The Europe and
North Africa summit ended a 2-day meeting in Tunisia. The group,
formed in 1990, gathered leaders from North Africa — Algeria,
Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania and Libya — with leaders from France,
Italy, Spain, Portugal and Malta.
2003 The African Development
(AfDB) fled its home in the Ivory Coast and set up operations in
(Econ, 5/19/07, p.50)
2004 Feb 18, President Bush
praised social progress in Tunisia and welcomed its leader, Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali, as a partner in the fight against terrorism while
also urging political reforms in the moderate Muslim nation in North
2004 Apr, In Tunisia the Nawaat
collective blog was created. It was quickly blocked and remained
blocked until January 2011. It played a major role in channeling the
opposition to Ben Ali's long rule and covered protests that
culminated in his ouster.
2004 May 22, An Arab League
summit met for a 2-day session in Tunis. 8 Arab leaders, including
Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, failed to show up and Libyan
leader Moammar Gadhafi walked out on the 1st day.
2004 May 23, In Tunisia Arab
leaders concluded a 2-day summit and committed their countries to
(SFC, 5/24/04, p.A7)
2004 Oct 3, Twenty-two would-be
immigrants drowned and 42 were missing after a boat that was to have
carried them across the Mediterranean broke up and sank off the
2004 Oct 23, Tunisia’s Pres.
Ben Ali (68) won elections with 94.5% of the vote.
(WSJ, 10/26/04, p.A1)(Econ, 10/23/04, p.46)
2005 Jan, Tunisia’s 1st private
television station began broadcasting under the name “Hannibal TV.”
(WSJ, 5/26/05, p.A1)(www.hannibaltv.com.tn/)
2005 Jun, The Trans-Sahara
Counter-Terrorism Initiative began operations. The US funded plan
intended to provide military equipment and development aid to 9
north-east African countries considered fertile ground for Muslim
militant groups. Participating countries included Algeria, Chad,
Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia.
(SFC, 12/27/05, p.A1)
2005 Aug 6, A Tunis Air jet
carrying 35 passengers went down in the sea off the Sicilian coast,
and rescuers were on their way. 16 people were killed, while 23
survived. A bad fuel gauge on the Tuninter plane caused the crash.
On March 23, 2009, the Tunisian pilot who paused to pray instead of
taking emergency measures before crash-landing his plane, was
sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court along with his
co-pilot. Another five employees of Tuninter, a subsidiary of
Tunisair, were sentenced to between 8 and 9 years in jail.
(AP, 8/5/05)(AP, 8/7/05)(WSJ, 9/8/05,
2005 Oct 18, In Tunisia 8
prominent opponents of the government went on a hunger strike ahead
of a world summit on information in Tunis. They called for freedom
of the press and of association and want Tunisia’s 600-odd political
prisoners to be freed.
(Econ, 11/12/05, p.50)
2005 Nov 16, A UN technology
summit opened in Tunisia after an 11th-hour agreement that leaves
the United States with ultimate oversight of the main computers that
direct the Internet's flow of information, commerce and dissent.
2006 Feb 11, In Tunis US
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and leaders of Tunisia pledged
to build closer military ties to help combat Islamic extremism.
2007 Jan 3, In Tunisia at least
14 people, including two security forces, were killed in the
shootout in Soliman, 25 miles south of the capital, Tunis. Fifteen
people were arrested. On Jan 12 the interior minister said nearly 30
Islamic extremists involved in a deadly gunbattle with police had
blueprints of foreign embassies and documents naming foreign envoys.
2007 Apr 30, In southern
Tunisia a stampede at an open-air concert by stars of the Arab
version of "American Idol" killed seven young people and injured 32.
2007 May 14, In Tunisia Sfax
port officials said the Tunisian coastguard had rescued 35 African
would-be immigrants who were trying to sail to Italy from the Libyan
coast. More than 1,000 people have landed on Spanish or Italian
territory since May 10.
2007 Jun 9, In Bosnia Karray
Kamel bin Ali, alias Abu Hamza, Tunisian-born radical Islamist, was
arrested near Zenica. This was several hours after he and possibly
three or four others attacked a house owned by Zijad Kovac. 3 family
members were wounded.
2007 Jun 19, The US announced
the transfer of six Guantanamo Bay prisoners back to their home
countries, including one who, according to his lawyers, now may face
abuse in Tunisia for nonviolent political activities. 4 men returned
to Yemen and two to Tunisia.
2007 Jul 6, EU officials said
they have asked Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to join patrols of
Europe's border control agency in a bid to stop massive clandestine
2007 Nov 6, Italian police said
a Europe-wide sweep disrupted an Islamic cell that was recruiting
potential suicide bombers for attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. They
announced the arrests of 20 terror suspects, mostly Tunisians.
Authorities in Britain, France and Portugal confirmed arrests.
2007 Nov 15, A Tunisian court
convicted a former prisoner at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, on terror charges. Abdullah Bin Omar, a Tunisian citizen who
spent five years at the detention facility in Cuba, was released in
2007 Nov, Tunisia blocked
access to popular video-sharing sites YouTube and DailyMotion, which
both carried material about Tunisian political prisoners. Tunisian
activists and allies responded by linking videos about civil
liberties to the image of Tunisia’s presidential palace in Google
(Econ, 6/28/08, p.67)
2008 Jan 7, The Tunis-based
Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organization said
nearly one in 3 people in the Arab world is illiterate, including
nearly half of all women in the region.
2008 Jan 30, Tunisia hosted the
25th session of the meeting of Arab Ministers of the Interior.
Security chiefs agreed to toughen rules on material that might
2008 Feb 22, In Tunisia 2
Austrian tourists were kidnapped. Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa
later claimed responsibility and warned western tourists to stay
away. The 2 tourists were released on October 31.
(AFP, 3/11/08)(WSJ, 3/11/08, p.A1)(AP, 10/31/08)
2008 Jul 18, In Tunisia 2
officials and three others were convicted of plotting terror attacks
and to overthrow the government.
(WSJ, 7/19/08, p.A1)
2008 Aug 23, A Tunisian court
convicted 13 Islamic militants on charges linked to plots to carry
out attacks in the north African country. 6 more were convicted on
Aug 26 for establishing a military camp in Tunisia's northeastern
Kef region designed to train fighters to be sent to Iraq.
2008 Oct 30, Scientists
reported that 1 in 17 men living on the coasts of North Africa and
southern Europe may have a Phoenician direct male line ancestor.
Evidence was based on Y-chromosomes collected in Cyprus, Malta,
Morocco, the West Bank, Syria and Tunisia.
(SFC, 10/31/08, p.A14)
2008 Nov 1, Three Tunisian men
accused of terrorism links by Italian prosecutors arrived in Milan
under heavy security after being extradited from Britain. Habib
Ignaoua, Mohamed Khemiri and Ali Chehidi were arrested in the London
and Manchester areas last year as part of coordinated raids across
Europe against an alleged Italian-based network recruiting fighters
for Iraq and Afghanistan.
2009 May 26, Tunisia’s Justice
Minister Bechir Tekkari said his country is ready to accept the 10
Tunisians held at Guantanamo Bay.
(SFC, 5/27/09, p.A2)
2009 Oct 25, Tunisians cast
ballots for president and parliament in elections expected to hand
another landslide victory to incumbent leader Zine El Abidine Ben
Ali (73), who warned opponents they would face legal retaliation if
they questioned the elections' fairness. Pres. Zine El Abidine Ben
Ali was re-elected for a fifth 5-year term with an overwhelming 89%
of the vote, his weakest performance yet but more than enough to
show his solid grip on the nation.
(AP, 10/25/09)(AP, 10/26/09)(Econ, 10/31/09,
2009 Nov 26, In Tunisia Taoufik
Ben Brik (49), a journalist known for his critical stance toward
Tunisia's government, was sentenced to six months in prison for what
his lawyer called a trumped-up assault charge. Brik was released on
April 27, 2010.
(AP, 11/26/09)(AP, 4/27/10)
2009 Dec 20, Italian state-run
and private television stations said a third Tunisian detainee from
Guantanamo Bay is being moved to Italy to face international
terrorism charges for having allegedly recruited fighters for
Afghanistan. He was identified as Moez Ben Abdelkader Fezzani (40),
also known as Abou Nassim.
2010 Jan 22, Some 124 refugees,
who said they are Kurds and Tunisians, landed on the southern shore
of Corsica after a lengthy journey at sea.
2010 Jun 23, Mohamed Mzali
(b.1925), former Tunisian prime minister (1980-1986) and a longtime
member of the International Olympic Committee, died in Paris after a
2010 Jul 6, A Tunisian appeals
court upheld a prison sentence in absentia of four years and one
month for journalist Fahem Boukaddous. He had covered protests that
turned violent in 2008 over high unemployment in the Gafsa mining
2010 Nov 22, Egypt's Orascom
Telecom said it is selling its entire 50% stake in its Tunisian
subsidiary to Qatar Telecom in a deal valued at $1.2 billion.
2010 Dec 17, In Tunisia Mohamed
Bouazizi (26), a university graduate without a steady job and trying
to support his family, burned himself after police confiscated the
fruits and vegetables he sold without a permit. His self-immolation
left him in intensive care and sparked protests over unemployment
that led to at least three deaths. Bouazizi died on Jan 4.
(AP, 1/2/11)(AP, 1/5/11)
2010 Dec 22, In Tunisia a
24-year-old jobless protester was electrocuted after announcing he
wanted to end his life and mounting a high-voltage electricity pole
in the town of Sidi Bouzid. Police fired tear gas at stone-throwing
protesters after simmering tensions linked to unemployment erupted
after the demonstrator committed suicide.
2011 Jan 8, In Tunisia at least
10 people were killed in rioting in the western towns of Thala and
Kasserine. 4 people died in the central-western town of Regueb. The
opposition said at least 20 people were killed Thala and Kasserine.
(AP, 1/9/11)(AP, 1/10/11)
2011 Jan 10, Tunisia
temporarily shut down all of its high schools and universities as it
tried to stop deadly riots over joblessness and poor prospects for
youths. At least 14 people were killed in unrest this weekend.
2011 Jan 12, In Tunisia police
and protesters clashed in the center of the capital, Tunis, bringing
unrest to the government's doorstep after nearly a month of deadly
protests that pose the most serious challenge to the president's two
decades of iron-fisted rule.
2011 Jan 13, In Tunisia rioters
hurled stones at trams and government buildings in Tunis in defiance
of increasingly tough government attempts to quash more than three
weeks of rioting by youths angry about joblessness.
2011 Jan 14, Tunisian police
fired rounds of tear gas at thousands of protesters in the capital
after some climbed atop the roof of the Interior Ministry, a symbol
of the iron-fisted government they want to oust. Tunisian President
Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali stepped aside after failing to quell the
worst anti-government unrest in his two decades in power. The
official death toll in the riots was 23, but opposition leaders put
the figure at three times that. Medical workers reported another 13
new deaths and over 50 injuries from the previous day alone. PM
Mohammed Ghannouchi went on state television to say he is assuming
power. Ben Ali and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, fled to Saudi Arabia.
The Trabelsi and Ben Ali's families were said to have a stake in
Tunisian banks and airlines, car dealerships, Internet providers,
radio and television stations, industry and big retailers.
(AP, 1/14/11)(AP, 1/17/11)
2011 Jan 15, Tunisia swore in a
new interim president, the second change of power in this North
African nation in less than 24 hours, and grappled with looting,
deadly prison riots and chaos in the streets after protests forced
the country's leader to flee. At least 42 people were killed in a
prison fire in a resort town and the director of another prison let
1,000 inmates flee after a deadly rebellion. Interim president,
Fouad Mebazaa (77), the former president of the lower house of
parliament, ordered the creation of a unity government that could
include the opposition.
2011 Jan 16, Tunisian
authorities struggled to restore order, arresting the top
presidential security chief and trying to stop gunfights that
erupted across the capital. One clash broke out near Tunisia's main
opposition party building, another by the dreaded Interior Ministry.
2011 Jan 17, Tunisia's PM
Mohamed Ghannouchi announced a national unity government, hoping to
quell simmering unrest following the ouster of President Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali amid huge street protests.
2011 Jan 18, Four ministers
quit Tunisia's day-old government, undermining its hopes of quelling
unrest by sharing power with members of the opposition to the old
2011 Jan 19, In Tunisia
hundreds of protesters demonstrated in Tunis to demand the dismissal
from the new coalition government of ministers associated with
ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. A Tunisian prosecutor
opened an investigation into the overseas assets of the ousted
president and his deeply resented family. The government moved to
give legal status to three parties barred under the previous
administration and freed a dissident journalist, Fahem Boukadous,
sentenced to four years in prison last year for his work.
(AP, 1/19/11)(AFP, 1/20/11)
2011 Jan 19, Switzerland's
federal council said it has agreed to freeze any assets of Tunisia's
ousted president and the incumbent leader of Ivory Coast.
2011 Jan 20, Tunisian police
fired shots into the air to try to disperse hundreds of protesters
demanding that ministers associated with the rule of ousted
president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali leave the government. Tunisian
authorities arrested 33 members of toppled dictator Zine El Abidine
Ben Ali's family and paraded a treasure trove of jewelry seized in
raids on their homes on state television. 8 ministers in the new
national unity cabinet, who had up until now remained members of Ben
Ali's disgraced Constitutional Democratic Rally, resigned from the
(AP, 1/20/11)(AFP, 1/20/11)
2011 Jan 22, In Tunisia
protesters who overthrew the president took to the streets again to
accuse his lieutenants of clinging to power and to demand new
leaders now. Tunisia's once-feared police staged a rally of their
own, demanding better salaries and insisting they're not to blame
for shooting deaths among protesters. An official count put 78
(Reuters, 1/22/11)(AP, 1/22/11)(Econ, 1/22/11,
2011 Jan 23, In Tunisia
thousands of anti-government protesters rallied outside PM Mohammed
Ghannouchi's office, calling for him to quit after the downfall of
the north African state's 23-year regime.
2011 Jan 24, In Tunisia
thousands of protesters rallied in the main government quarter in
Tunis calling for PM Mohammed Ghannouchi to resign after the fall of
veteran leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Teachers went on strike, and
police demanded the right to form a union, as Tunisia struggled to
stabilize itself after its president was overthrown.
(AFP, 1/24/11)(AP, 1/24/11)
2011 Jan 25, In Tunisia
protesters pressured the new interim government to quit in the wake
of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's ouster, as the cabinet
prepared a major shake-up.
2011 Jan 26, Tunisia said it
has issued an international arrest warrant for ousted president Zine
El Abidine Ben Ali, as anti-government protesters clashed with riot
police in the capital.
2011 Jan 27, In Tunisia
thousands took to the streets to call for old regime politicians to
be ousted after the fall of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The
interim government under PM Ghannouchi named 12 new ministers and
removed ministers tied to the ousted president.
(AFP, 1/27/11)(SFC, 1/28/11, p.A7)
2011 Jan 28, The head of
Tunisia's main union body said that PM Mohammed Ghannouchi had
agreed to meet critics demanding his removal amid signs that mass
protests were running out of steam.
2011 Jan 30, Thousands of
Tunisians turned out to welcome Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi
(69) after more than 20 years in exile, as he eyed a political
future for his Ennahda movement after the fall of the government.
Ghannouchi was persecuted in Tunisia ever since founding his
Islamist movement in 1981.
2011 Jan 31, European Union
foreign ministers agreed to freeze the assets of Tunisia's former
President Zine-al Abidine Ben Ali and his wife.
2011 Feb 1, The head of a UN
human rights mission said some 219 people were killed and 510
injured during the violent protests that led to the ouster of
Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. A gang set fire
overnight to a small synagogue, in what appeared to be the first
attack on a Jewish institution since the start of the unrest.
2011 Feb 2, Tunisia's interim
government moved to impose its control over the country's security
forces and state institutions, firing dozens of senior allies of
fallen dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
2011 Feb 7, Tunisia’s Ministry
of Interior suspended the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD), the
former ruling party.
(Econ, 2/12/11, p.30)
2011 Feb 9, Tunisia's Senate
agreed unanimously to grant wide powers to the interim president
struggling to restore order to the country following the overthrow
of ex-leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
2011 Feb 11, Italy warned it
faces a humanitarian crisis with some 1,600 would-be migrants from
Tunisia arriving in its waters over the past two weeks following
unrest in their home country.
2011 Feb 13, Tunisian
immigrants clinging to small fishing boats landed in Italy, as the
Italian government appealed for EU aid and said it wanted to deploy
its security forces in Tunisia.
2011 Feb 15, Tunisian
authorities extended a state of emergency imposed as president Zine
El Abidine Ben Ali fled a month ago but ordered an end to a
2011 Feb 18, In Tunisia Marek
Marius Rybinski (34), a Polish priest, was found with his throat
slit and stab wounds in the parking lot of the religious school in
the Tunis suburb of Manouma.
(AP, 2/19/11)(Econ, 3/12/11, p.29)
2011 Feb 20, In Tunisia several
thousand protesters swarmed on the governmental palace to demand the
ouster of the provisional government in power since the ouster of
country's longtime strongman. Many were angry that PM Mohamed
Ghannouchi, a longtime ally of Ben Ali, is still in his post, and
fear the Tunisian revolution has been co-opted by the old guard.
2011 Feb 25, In Tunisia tens of
thousands of people filled the streets of central Tunis in what they
called a "day of rage," calling for the resignation of PM Mohamed
Ghannouchi, a former ally of the ousted president.
2011 Feb 27, Tunisian PM
Mohamed Ghannouchi (69) said he will resign, amid renewed violence
during protests in this North African country. Officials said that
at least five people have died during violent street protests since
Feb 25 with nearly 200 people were arrested over the last two days.
Interim president Fouad Mebazaa chose Beji Caid-Essebsi (84), a
former government minister, as the new prime minister.
(AP, 2/27/11)(SFC, 2/28/11, p.A3)
2011 Mar 1, The UN refugee
agency said that the situation on Libya's border with Tunisia is
reaching a crisis point after 70,000 to 75,000 people fled from the
violence in Libya since February 20.
2011 Mar 10, In Tunisia ousted
Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's former advisor Abdel Aziz
Ben Dhia and Abdel Wahab Abdallah, who served as minister in the
presidency, were arrested along with former Senate chief Abdallah
Kallal and taken to a military base near Tunis.
2011 Mar 11, In Tunisia a new
eruption of violence between police and protesters killed 2 and
(SFC, 3/12/11, p.A3)
2011 Mar 13, Tunisia’s TAP news
agency said that a 7 pm to 5 am curfew has been imposed on the
mining town of Metlaoui, where clashes 2 days earlier left 2 people
dead and 20 injured. Protests had begun amid rumors that a regional
phosphate mining company was secretly recruiting in a specific
tribal area, instead of opening its jobs to the entire local
2011 Apr 5, Italy and Tunisia
signed a deal to choke off the flood of Tunisians heading to Italian
shores. Italy agreed to take two flights a day of repatriated
(SFC, 4/6/11, p.A2)(Econ, 4/16/11, p.58)
2011 Apr 8, France and Italy
announced an agreement to joint sea-and-air patrols to try to block
new Tunisian migrants from sailing to European shores.
2011 Apr 17, A train carrying
Tunisian immigrants from Italy was halted at the French border in an
escalation of an international dispute over the fate of North
African migrants fleeing political unrest for refuge in Europe,
unprecedented since the introduction of the Schengen travel-free
2011 Apr 19, A Tunisian court
dropped charges against a policewoman whose dispute with fruit
vendor Mohamed Bouazizi sparked a chain of events that unleashed
uprisings around the Arab world. The case against Fedia Hamdi was
closed after the vendor's family withdrew its original complaint.
2011 Apr 29, In Tunisia more
than 800 prisoners escaped from prisons in Kasserine and Gafsa after
fires were started in cells. Some 11,000 inmates have escaped since
Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled into exile in January.
(SFC, 4/30/11, p.A2)
2011 May 1, A seemingly endless
flow of Libyans crossed into Tunisia from Libya at the Dehiba border
post, a day after a record 5,000 refugees fled the conflict in their
2011 May 2, The Swiss
government said it has identified potential assets belonging to
Libya’s Moammar Khadafy and his entourage amounting to $415 million.
Assets of $473 million were also found linked to Egypt’s Hosni
Mubarak and $69 million to Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
(SFC, 5/3/11, p.AA2)
2011 May 7, Tunisia's caretaker
government has ordered an overnight curfew for the capital and
nearby areas, following three days of renewed protests over fears
that the country's efforts at democracy are in jeopardy.
2011 May 11, Tunisian police
arrested a Libyan man in a car packed with Kalashnikov rifle
cartridges in the south of the country, 80 km (50 miles) from the
border with Libya. Authorities had also arrested a second man, an
Algerian, who was transporting grenades. It appeared the vehicles
were traveling from Libya.
2011 May 14, Italian border
police escorted a boat with 218 Tunisians aboard to tiny Lampedusa
island, where tens of thousands of illegal migrants have arrived
since January to escape turmoil in North Africa. Meanwhile, Africans
fleeing Libya by sea reached Sicily.
2011 May 14, Tunisian army
troops deployed along the border thwarted an attempt by 200 troops
from Gadhafi's army to cross the border aboard some 50 off-road
vehicles. 3 pro-Gadhafi officers who defected landed at Tunisia's
port of Zarzis on a boat. 2 people suspected of links to al-Qaida's
North African affiliate were arrested overnight, one with a belt of
explosives and the other carrying a grenade.
2011 May 18, In Tunisia
suspected Libyan Al-Qaeda militants exchanged fire with security
forces, leaving two alleged militants and a Tunisian colonel dead.
2011 May 24, World Bank Pres.
Robert Zoellick said it will provide up to $6 billion to Egypt and
Tunisia to help them modernize their economies as they undertake
democratic reforms after the ouster of their longtime presidents.
2011 May 27, Pres. Obama and
other G8 leaders wrapped up a 2-day summit in France and announced
plans for a $40 billion in aid to support democracy in Egypt,
Tunisia and the rest of North Africa.
(SFC, 5/28/11, p.A3)
2011 May 29, In Tunisia police
officer Samir Feriani was arrested at the Aouina military base on
the outskirts of the capital after publishing two letters in the
weekly L'Expert, in which he accused an unnamed interior ministry
official of taking part in a crackdown on popular uprisings at Sidi
Bouzid in central Tunisia and Kasserine in the west. Feriani was
acquitted on Sep 29.
2011 Jun 1, Tunisia's coast
guard launched operations to rescue would-be immigrants trapped on a
fishing boat that stalled off the country's coast. The boat was
believed to have set sail from Libya and was en route to Italy with
an estimated 800 would-be immigrants. At least 583 of the estimated
800 people on board survived the sinking.
(AP, 6/1/11)(AP, 6/2/11)(AP, 6/3/11)(SFC, 6/6/11,
2011 Jun 4, Tunisia’s news said
clashes between tribal factions killed 5 people with 90 others
injured in the southwestern mining town of Metlaoui. Rumors had
surfaced about changes in the recruitment policies of the region’s
(SFC, 6/5/11, p.A4)
2011 Jun 20, Tunisia's former
autocratic ruler, whose ouster triggered a series of Arab world
uprisings, went on trial in absentia in the first of what will
likely be a long series of court proceedings five months after he
went into exile. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and wife Leila Trabelsi
were convicted in absentia on embezzlement and other charges after
$27 million (euro18.97 million) in jewels and public funds were
found in one of his palaces.
2011 Jun 26, In Tunisia 6
members of the Salafist movement were arrested after they stormed a
Tunis cinema and broke its glass doors in a bid to stop the
screening of the film "Neither Allah, nor Master" on secularism in
2011 Jun 28, Tunisian police
arrested about 30 people at a rally by Salafist Muslims demanding
the release of comrades who ransacked a cinema that showed a film on
2011 Jul 4, In Tunisia 2 people
were killed and 24 injured when inmates set mattresses on fire
during an attempted jailbreak in the central city of Kasserine.
(AFP, 7/4/11)(AP, 7/7/11)
2011 Jul 11, Tunisian
authorities arrested Bechir Tekkari, a former justice minister and
charged him with corruption and abuse of power. He was charged with
corruption and abuse of power over trade deals and the awarding of
2011 Jul 13, Tunisian PM Beji
Caid Essebsi painted a bleak picture of the national economy, which
he blamed on repeated strikes that have paralyzed several companies.
2011 Jul 15, Tunisian police
fired tear gas to break up an anti-government protest in the
capital, with demonstrators accusing the authorities of using
violence to end their peaceful action.
2011 Jul 17, In Tunisia 6
police officers were injured, four seriously, in a series of
overnight attacks on police stations and public buildings in cities
across the country.
2011 Jul 18, In Tunisia a
14-year-old was killed overnight in the inland town of Sidi Bouzid.
The teen was hit by a "stray bullet" in clashes between security
forces and protesters.
2011 Jul 21, A Tunisian court
opened two more trials of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali,
now living in exile in Saudi Arabia, accusing him of corruption and
property fraud. Hundreds of Tunisians rallied in the capital,
denouncing the "violence and chaos" that persist six months after
the toppling of authoritarian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
2011 Aug 8, In Tunisia hundreds
of people demonstrated in central Tunis to demand that members of
the toppled Ben Ali regime be stopped from re-entering the political
scene or escaping justice for alleged crimes.
2011 Aug 12, A Tunisian court
handed down prison terms for members and collaborators of the former
first lady for trying to illegally flee with jewels and cash as the
regime collapsed. But it dismissed charges against Ali Seriati, the
once powerful head of presidential security.
2011 Aug 15, Tunisian police
fired tear gas to disperse protesters throwing stones and smashing
storefronts in an unexpected eruption of violence in the country's
capital. A few hundred lawyers protested in Tunis over what they
said is continuing corruption in the courts and too-lax verdicts
against those in the regime of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben
2011 Aug 27, Tunisia arrested a
member of Libya's pro-Kadhafi forces in the southeast of the country
for planning attacks on Libyan refugees and rebel supporters.
2011 Sep 2, Tunisia imposed a
curfew in two separate areas following a series of clashes that left
a 17-year-old girl dead and dozens injured.
2011 Sep 21, The Tunisian army
attacked an armed convoy near the Algerian border. 6 people were
killed as the Tunisian army neutralized vehicles fitted with
anti-aircraft guns that crossed over from the Algerian desert near
(AFP, 9/21/11)(AFP, 9/23/11)
2011 Oct 9, Tunisian police
arrested dozens of Islamist demonstrators set on attacking the
offices of a television channel that had shown the award-winning
film "Persepolis," Marjane Satrapi's moving and humorous adaptation
of her graphic novels about growing up during and after Iran's 1979
2011 Oct 14, Tunisian
extremists fire-bombed the home of a TV station chief, hours after
militants protesting its broadcast of a film they say violated
Islamic values clashed with police in the streets of Tunis.
2011 Oct 20, Tunisians
expatriates began casting their ballots ahead the weekend
legislative elections, the country's first free elections.
2011 Oct 23, Tunisia held its
first truly free elections since independence in 1956. Voters
elected a 217-seat constituent assembly that would shape their
fledgling democracy, choose a new government and write a new
constitution that would pave the way for future elections. The
moderate Islamist party Ennahda, led by Rached Ghannouchi (b.1941),
claimed the biggest block of votes. Ennahda (Renaissance), banned
for decades, emerged the official victor taking 41.47% of the vote
and 89 of 217 seats in the new assembly.
(AP, 10/23/11)(AP, 10/24/11)(AFP, 10/25/11)(AP,
2011 Oct 26, Tunisia's Islamist
Ennahda party vowed to form a new government within a month as early
results gave it a commanding lead in the Arab Spring's first free
2011 Oct 27, Five Arab Spring
activists won the European parliament's Sakharov prize awarded to
campaigners for freedom. They include Mohamed Bouazizi of Tunisia,
awarded posthumously, Egyptian militant Asmaa Mahfouz, Libyan
dissident Ahmed al-Zubair Ahmed al-Sanusi, Syrian lawyer Razan
Zeitouneh and Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat.
2011 Oct 31, A Tunisian court
was reported to have issued an international arrest warrant against
Suha Arafat (48), the widow of the late Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat over alleged corruption. The case appeared to be connected to
a school she founded in 2006 with the wife of the ousted Pres. Ben
Ali. She was stripped of her Tunisian citizenship in 2007 following
a dispute with the former ruling family and currently lives in
(AFP, 11/1/11)(SFC, 11/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Nov 15, A Tunisian
official said Moncef Marzouki, a physician who headed that Tunisian
League of Human Rights, will take on the role of interim president
for the next year while a new constitution is being written.
(SFC, 11/16/11, p.A2)
2011 Nov 19, In Tunisia the
three parties making up the new ruling coalition divided up the top
government jobs between them. Ennahda's Hamadi Jebali will become
prime minister. Congress for the Republic party leader Moncef
Marzouki will become president. The leader of the left of center
Ettakatol, or forum, party will become speaker of the assembly.
2011 Nov 22, Tunisia's newly
elected assembly held its inaugural meeting, ready to start shaping
the constitution and the democratic future of the country that
sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.
2011 Nov 23, In Tunisia violent
demonstrations erupted in the impoverished central region and had to
be dispersed with tear gas. It stemmed from a peaceful demonstration
in the town of Kasserine over the exclusion of local residents from
a list of those killed in last year's uprising against the
2011 Nov 24, In Tunisia an
overnight curfew was declared across the central mining region of
Gafsa, in the wake of violence that began late Wednesday over job
2011 Nov 28, In Tunisia a group
of students, who were for the most part not enrolled at Manouba
university, camped out to demand the right for women students to
wear the full veil, known as the niqab. They also demanded a place
of prayer on campus.
2011 Nov 29, Tunisia’s state
news said interim President Fouad Mebazza has signed a decree
extending the state of emergency for the fourth time since it was
first enacted during street unrest after the fall of Tunisia's
longtime autocratic leader in January.
2011 Dec 1, In Tunisia
thousands of people rallied in central Tunis to express fears of
extremism under an Islamist party that swept to power in October
polls, but also to denounce unemployment and corruption.
2011 Dec 2, Tunisia closed the
second main border post into Libya following attacks on Tunisians on
the Libyan side, two days after the first closure.
2011 Dec 3, In Tunisia
thousands of Islamist supporters descended on central Tunis to
confront liberal demonstrators rallying against extremism as
lawmakers draft a new constitution.
2011 Dec 10, Tunisia's
constituent assembly adopted a provisional constitution that will
allow the north African country to name a government, a month and a
half after its first post-revolution election.
2011 Dec 12, Tunisia’s new
assembly chose Moncef Marzouki of the Congress for the Republic
Party to serve as the country’s first democratically elected
(SFC, 12/13/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 14, Tunisia's new
president, Moncef Marzouki, asked the secretary general of the
Islamist party that dominated last month's elections to form the
next government. Hamadi Jebali has three weeks to form the next
2011 Dec 15, Tunisia reopened
its Ras Jidr crossing with Libya after Tripoli took steps to prevent
the kind of incidents that led to the border's closure two weeks
2011 Dec 19, Tunisia’s
President Moncef Marzouki said that Tunisia's Jews are full citizens
and those that had left were welcome to return. His comments came
almost two weeks after Israeli deputy PM Silvan Shalom called on the
country's remaining Jews to emigrate to Israel.
2011 Following Tunisia’s
revolution 214 businesses and assets worth $13 billion, including
550 properties and 48 boats and yachts, were confiscated from
deposed president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
(Econ, 10/11/14, p.74)
2011 Tunisia’s population was
about 10.6 million.
(Econ, 7/16/11, p.52)
2012 Jan 5, In Tunisia Ammar
Gharsalla (48), a jobless father of three, poured petrol and set
himself ablaze in front of the main office of the governorate of
Gafsa after three ministers visiting the area to look into the
unemployment problem refused to meet him. He had been part of a
group of protesters staging a sit-in for days in front of the Gafsa
government office to highlight the unemployment problem in the
phosphate-rich region. Gharsalla died on Jan 9.
(AFP, 1/6/12)(Econ, 1/14/12, p.47)
2012 Jan 7, In northern Tunisia
Daoud Bouhli (50), a man with a history of mental illness, set
himself on fire, two days after a similar case in the south.
2012 Jan 9, In Tunisia several
hundred journalists demonstrated in Tunis to protest at the
appointment of media bosses by the government, which they regard as
a return to bad practices of the past.
2012 Jan 11, A local official
in the Tunisian city of Sfax said a middle-aged woman has died after
setting herself on fire, the fourth Tunisian case of self-immolation
in the last week. The woman reportedly had a history of mental
2012 Jan 18, Five Tunisian
students said they went on hunger strike against a ban on niqab
veils imposed by Manouba university, upping the ante in a dispute
which began in November.
2012 Jan 24, Tunisian police
ended a weeks-long sit-in by conservative Muslims at Manouba
university that banned the full-face veil.
2012 Jan 28, In Tunisia over
8,000 people marched in Tunis denouncing violence committed by
ultraconservative Islamist groups.
(SSFC, 1/29/12, p.A3)
2012 Feb 1, In Tunisia men,
described as bearded by the state news agency, were stopped in their
car at a checkpoint and then opened fire with assault rifles, before
fleeing into a nearby olive orchard in the southern Bir Ali Ben
2012 Feb 2, Tunisia cut ties
with Syria. TAP news agency said authorities have seized dozens of
yachts as well as cars, company shares and houses belonging to
ousted leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family. Confiscated
items included 34 vehicles, shares in 117 companies, 233 property
deeds and 48 yachts and two homes.
(AFP, 2/2/12)(AP, 4/2/15)
2012 Feb 2, Tunisian security
forces killed two members of an armed group and arrested a third
after a clash the day before left a policeman and three soldiers
wounded, one of them critically. State news described the men as
involved in arms smuggling.
2012 Feb 4, Tunisia decided to
expel Syria's ambassador in response to the "bloody massacre" in
Homs. Dozens of Syrian protesters were arrested after storming their
country's embassies in cities in Europe and the Middle East.
(AP, 2/4/12)(AFP, 2/4/12)
2012 Feb 8, Tunisia's new
President Moncef Marzouki arrived in Morocco to push for a revival
of a dormant project to unify the Maghreb region on his first
foreign tour since taking office.
2012 Feb 14, A Tunisian court
cleared Libyan former PM Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi (70) on a charge he
had crossed illegally into Tunisia as he fled Libya last year.
2012 Feb 22, Tunisia's court of
cassation threw out a ruling banning pornographic websites.
2012 Feb 24, Tunisian police
wielding batons beat back several dozen pro-Syrian protesters trying
to enter the venue of an international meeting on the Syria crisis.
The US secretary of state and other leading Western and Arab
officials were in Tunis for the "Friends of Syria" meeting aimed at
increasing pressure on President Bashar al-Assad's regime over its
bloody crackdown on the opposition.
2012 Feb 25, In Tunisia more
than 3,000 protesters rallied in Tunis to call for the country's
moderate Islamist government to resign after accusations that ruling
party activists had defaced union offices. US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton pledged that Washington would help Tunisia rebuild
its economy and cement democracy.
2012 Mar 2, In Tunisia
protesters began camping outside the offices of Wataniya in Tunis,
demanding the "cleansing" of the national broadcaster and jeering at
journalists. On April 25 they ended their protest after the
government promised to address their concerns and asked them to
2012 Mar 11, Hackers claiming
to belong to the Anonymous Internet freedom group posted video
messages on Facebook pages of Tunisian Islamists, threatening
reprisals over their efforts to introduce Salafist laws.
2012 Mar 16, In Tunisia several
thousand men and women demonstrated outside the parliament to demand
the inclusion of Islamic law in the country's future constitution.
2012 Mar 20, Thousands of
Tunisians gathered in defense of liberty as they marked Independence
Day amid fears of a widening divide between secular and religious
groups in the newly democratized nation.
2012 Mar 24, In Tunisia Beji
Caid Essebsi (85), the man who steered the country in the aftermath
of its January 2011 revolution, came out of retirement to criticize
the Islamist-led government and galvanize a secular opposition.
2012 Mar 25, In Tunisia at
least 8,000 Islamists staged a mass demonstration in central Tunis
in the latest show of force to demand the adoption of Islamic law in
the north African country.
2012 Mar 26, A top official in
Tunisia's ruling Islamist Ennahda Party says Islamic law will not be
enshrined in the country's new constitution, preserving the North
African nation's civil state.
2012 Mar 28, Tunisia's interior
ministry banned demonstrations on the capital's main avenue which
has become a hub of protests since the fall of strongman Zine el
Abidine Ben Ali in January last year.
2012 Mar 28, A Tunisian court
convicted Jaber Majeri (Jabeur Mejri) and Ghazi Beji for posting
images of the prophet purportedly being intimate with one of his
wives. They were sentenced to 7½ years in prison and fined $800. An
appeals court in June upheld the conviction. Beji had fled to Europe
and was sentenced in absentia. On Feb 4, 2014, artists from a dozen
countries launched an online campaign called "100 drawings for
Jabeur" in support of Mejri.
2012 Mar 31, Tunisia's
Religious Affairs Minister Nourredine al-Khademi said the country
will take stock of the hundreds of mosques now in the hands of
ultra-conservatives. He estimated that about 400 of more than 5,000
mosques had fallen under the sway of Salafist extremists.
2012 Apr 7, Several Tunisian
centrist parties including the center-left PDP agreed to combine
forces and gain more clout in a country increasingly challenged by
Islamists ahead of general elections. A military appeals court in
Tunis upheld the convictions of Tunisia's ousted president and his
top officials for torturing army officers over an alleged 1991 coup
plot. Baton-wielding police fired teargas to disperse a
demonstration by thousands of jobless Tunisian graduates in the
2012 Apr 9, Tunisian police
fired tear gas to disperse a rally on Bourguiba Avenue in central
Tunis where demonstrations are banned. Hundreds of demonstrators,
marking Martyrs' Day (1938) and protesting against the ban imposed
on March 28, sought shelter in neighboring streets and shops. At
least 15 civilians and eight policemen were hurt. The journalists'
union called on its members to boycott Interior Minister Ali
Larayedh for a week over the crackdown.
(AFP, 4/9/12)(AFP, 4/10/12)
2012 Apr 10, Tunisia said it
will allow demonstrations on a symbolic street in the capital two
days after police brutally clamped down on protesters who defied a
ban on rallies.
2012 Apr 12, Tunisian
journalists walked out of the country's Constituent Assembly as
Interior Minister Ali Larayedh defended a police crackdown, widely
branded as brutal, on a banned rally.
2012 Apr 17, The Tunisian
League for Human Rights said that around 100 people working near the
town of Zaouia, some 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, had been
taken hostage by armed men demanding the release of a group of
Libyans held in Tunisia. The workers' seizure had been in
retaliation for the arrest of Libyan nationals in Tunisia. 3 Libyans
had been arrested on April 14 near the north African countries'
2012 Apr 18, Tunisia said some
100 Tunisian workers kidnapped by armed men in western Libya have
been released. 3 Libyans arrested on April 14 wee also reported
2012 Apr 30, In Tunisia
Abdekrim Boulahya and Kemaies Saai, both from the mining town of Om
Larayes, tried to hang themselves outside the ministry building
before being rescued and taken to hospital.
2012 May 1, In Tunisia over
20,000 people marched for national unity, chanting slogans borrowed
from the popular uprising that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali over
a year ago.
2012 May 3, A Tunisian court
slapped a small fine on the head of the Nessma television station
for undermining morality by screening the film "Persepolis," which
included depictions of God. Nabil Karoui broadcast the award-winning
Franco-Iranian film which recounts the Iranian revolution and its
aftermath through the eyes of a young girl, on October 7 last year.
The court ordered Karoui to pay 2,400 dinars (1,300 euros, $1,700
2012 May 4, In Tunisia an
official tally said 338 Tunisians were killed and 2,174 were injured
during the popular uprising that led to the fall of president Zine
El Abidine Ben Ali.
2012 May 19, The European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development approved investment of 1.0
billion euros for expansion into north Africa and the Middle East
under its first British president, Suma Chakrabarti, who a day
earlier replaced Thomas Mirow from Germany. The EBRD is planning to
invest specifically in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan.
2012 May 20, In central Tunisia
thousands of hardline Ansar al-Sharia Islamists, some in Afghan
military garb and waving swords, converged to rally for one of the
country's most radical religious movements. Researchers estimated
Salafists count about 10,000 followers in Tunisia.
2012 May 21, In Tunisia
military police confiscated the cameras of Ramzi Bettaieb, who works
for Nawaat, a collective blog, when he filmed the trial of Ben Ali
and 22 co-accused in the northwestern town of Kef over their role in
crushing anti-regime protests. On May 28 he launched a hunger strike
to defend press freedom.
2012 May 26, The Tunisian
justice ministry sacked 81 magistrates over suspicions of graft and
their links to the ousted regime of president Zine El Abidine Ben
Ali. Police used tear gas to stop gangs of ultra-conservative
Salafists, some armed with clubs and swords, who went on the attack
in the northwestern towns of Jendouba and Ghardimaou. About 15
people were arrested.
2012 May 30, Tunisia’s PM
Hamadi Jebali said Tunisians have lost patience with hardline
Islamists sowing violence in the country, and authorities will deal
firmly with any such groups "who believe they are charged by God to
2012 May, In Tunisia the League
for the Protection of the Revolution (LPR), a pro-Islamist group was
founded to "preserve the gains of the revolution" that toppled
dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 and reinforce Tunisia's
Arab and Muslim identity.
2012 Jun 2, In Tunisia some 100
people defied a government ban to rally in the center of the capital
against Salafist extremism, accusing the authorities of double
2012 Jun 10, In Tunisia
hundreds of extremists destroyed artworks at an exhibit in the Tunis
suburb of La Marsa that included paintings that caricatured Mecca,
portrayed a nude woman, and showed the word "Allah" spelled with
strings of ants. On July 4 a Tunisian court sentenced court official
Mohamed Ali Bouaziz to two months in jail on charges of inciting the
(AP, 6/12/12)(AFP, 7/4/12)
2012 Jun 11, In Tunisia radical
protesters set fire to a police post in La Marsa and to a security
kiosk in Kram. Police fired warning shots to disperse them. 7 police
officers were injured and 90 people arrested in the 2 days of
unrest in three suburbs of Tunis.
2012 Jun 12, Tunisia's justice
minister condemned as terrorism a spate of overnight attacks on
government offices by gangs including Islamist hardliners, warning
that those guilty would be punished.
2012 Jun 13, A Tunisian
military court convicted former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in
absentia of inciting violence and sentenced him to 20 years in
prison. Tunisia has repeatedly asked Saudi Arabia to extradite Ben
Ali so he can face the charges in person. Calm returned after days
of riots by radical Islamists across the country left 62 members of
the security forces injured and led to 162 arrests.
2012 Jun 24, Tunisia sent back
ex-Libyan PM Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, a stalwart of slain leader Moamer
Kadhafi's regime, to face trial in Tripoli.
2012 Jun 27, Libya’s official
TAP news agency said a Tunisian seaman died after the Libyan
coastguard fired on a Tunisian fishing boat with a crew of 19 off
the north African coast.
2012 Jul 4, The independent
Tunisian authority (INRIC) charged with reforming the media
announced that it had shut down after failing to achieve its
objective, accusing the Islamist-dominated government of censorship.
2012 Jul 9, Abbes Settou of
Eritrea, who drank sea water to survive, was spotted clinging to a
jerry can and the remains of the stricken boat off the Tunisian
coast by fishermen who alerted the coast guard. 54 migrants trying
to reach Italy died of thirst when their inflatable boat ruptured in
2012 Jul 13, Egypt's new
Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and Tunisian President Moncef
Marzouki told reporters in Cairo that the two nations will rebuild
ties after what he described as years of stagnant, routine
2012 Jul 19, In Tunisia a
military court convicted former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali,
who is in exile in Saudi Arabia, for complicity in the deaths of
protesters in the north of the country during last year's uprising
and sentenced him to life in prison. Some 43 officials were tried in
the same case, receiving sentences ranging from five years in prison
2012 Jul 25, Tunisian President
Moncef Marzouki pardoned 1,300 prisoners to mark national day, the
55th anniversary of the proclamation of the republic.
2012 Jul 26, Tunisian police
fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse protesters who attacked
provincial government headquarters in Sidi Bouzid, the town where
the country's revolution was born.
2012 Jul 27, Tunisian Finance
Minister Houcine Dimassi resigned following a disagreement with the
policies of the government led by Islamist PM Hamadi Jebali. Dimassi
complained of excessive spending.
2012 Aug 9, Tunisian police
fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a protest in the
central town of Sidi Bouzid, birthplace of last year's revolution,
as hundreds of demonstrators demanded the resignation of the
2012 Aug 14, In Tunisia
hundreds of protesters demonstrated against the ruling Islamist
party during a general strike in Sidi Bouzid, hub of the 2011
2012 Aug 27, Tunisia extended
the state of emergency in the country for another month ahead of the
start of the new school year over fears of increased violence. This
was the 8th extension following the popular uprising that overthrew
long-ruling dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali a year and a half ago.
2012 Sep 10, Tunisian
authorities said four police officers have been detained on
suspicion they tortured a robbery suspect who later died. The
officers are suspected of torturing Abderraouf Khamassi (34) who was
arrested Aug 28. He died Sep 8 with a wound to his skull.
2012 Sep 14, In Tunisia violent
protests outside the US Embassy in Tunis against an anti-Muslim film
were met with tear gas and gunshots. Police killed 4 people. Around
40 others were injured as plumes of black smoke wafted over the
city. I20 Tunisians accused of attacking the US Embassy were
convicted in 2013 and given two-year suspended sentences.
(AP, 9/14/12)(Economist, 9/22/12, p.56)(AP,
2012 Sep 15, Tunisia's
governing moderate Islamist party condemned the attack on the U.S.
Embassy in Tunis and the neighboring American school, saying
Saturday that such violence threatens the country's progress toward
democracy after decades of dictatorship.
2012 Sep, In Tunisia Meriem Ben
Mohamed (27) was reportedly raped by two policemen who later said
they had found and her boyfriend having sex in a car in a Tunis
suburb. A third policeman allegedly tried to extort money from her
fiance at a bank cashpoint. The woman later authored a book in
France entitled "Guilty of being raped." The policemen faced trial
2012 Oct 2, Hundreds of
Tunisians protested in support of a woman (27) who says she was
raped by police and is facing accusations of violating modesty laws.
The woman says three police officers stopped her in a car last
month, and one of them held her fiancé back while the other two
raped her. The police officers deny wrongdoing.
2012 Oct 3, Turkish authorities
arrested Ali Harzi for reported links to the Sep 11 attack on a US
consulate in Libya. He was repatriated to Tunisia on Oct 11 and
faced terrorism charges there. Harzi was one of two Tunisians
reportedly arrested in Turkey when they tried to enter the country
with false passports.
2012 Oct 16, In Tunisia 5
masked men stormed into the shrine of Sayyeda Aicha Manoubia, a 13th
century holy woman, near the capital Tunis that had previously been
threatened by religious conservatives and set it on fire.
2012 Oct 22, In Tunisia
thousands decried the growing political violence during a protest in
(SFC, 10/23/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 30, In Tunisia an
Islamist protester was killed and 3 security officers injured after
ultraconservative Salafists attacked a police station near Tunis.
(SFC, 10/31/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 17, In Tunisia
Mohammed Bakhti, a prominent member of the ultraconservative Muslim
Salafi movement, died after months on a hunger strike. Fellow
detainee, Bachir al-Gholi, died Nov 15 after a heart attack brought
on by his own hunger strike. Both were suspects in the Sep 14 attack
on Tunisia's US embassy.
2012 Nov 27, The World Bank
approved a $500 million loan to help support reforms in Tunisia's
financial sector to encourage investment and growth.
2012 Nov 28, In Tunisia a
strike in a low income region degenerated into a second day of
clashes between police and protesters, leaving 177 people injured,
including some seriously.
2012 Nov 30, The Tunisian army
moved into the southwestern town of Siliana, in the fourth day of
protests that have injured more than 300 people. President Moncef
Marzouki said on television that the country's government has not
"met the expectations of the people" and asked that a new one,
smaller and specialized to deal with the unrest, be formed.
2012 Nov, In Tunisia Sami
Fehri, a producer of political puppet shows that mocked the
country’s Islamic leaders, was imprisoned on corruption charges.
(Econ, 4/6/13, p.58)
2012 Dec 1, In Tunisia hundreds
of stone-throwing protesters and security forces firing tear gas
clashed for a 5th day in Siliana despite government efforts to
defuse days of violence injuring at least 300 people.
2012 Dec 2, A Tunisian labor
union suspended a nearly weeklong strike in Siliana after the
national government agreed to remove a local governor.
2012 Dec 14, Tunisia’s justice
minister said Sakhr Materi, the son-in-law of former Pres. Zine
al-Abidine Ban Ali, was arrested in the Seychelles on an int’l.
warrant over the embezzlement of state funds last year.
(SFC, 12/15/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 18, In Tunisia some
3000 people protested the leadership in Tunis during ceremonies
marking 2 years since a street vendor set himself on fire to protest
abuses under former Pres. Ben Ali.
(SFC, 12/18/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 26, In Tunisia
journalist Olfa Riahi posted receipts alleging that Foreign Minister
Rafik Abdessalam spent six nights at public expense, including one
accompanied by an unidentified woman, raising suspicions of
adultery. The minister has denied any wrongdoing and described the
woman as his cousin. Riahi followed up these allegations on Dec. 29
with documents showing that the Chinese government transferred a
million dollars directly into a Foreign Ministry account rather than
going via the Finance Ministry or public treasury as is the custom.
2013 Jan 7, In Tunisia Ali
Harzi (26), a man linked by officials to the attack on the US
consulate in Benghazi, was conditionally released by a Tunisian
judge due to lack of evidence.
2013 Feb 6, In Tunisia
opposition leader Chokri Belaid (47), critical of the Islamist-led
government, was gunned down as he left home in the first
assassination in post-revolutionary Tunisia, setting off
anti-government riots that left downtown Tunis choked with tear gas
and patrolled by a tank and armored cars. PM Hamadi Jebali announced
he would dissolve the government and form a new one of nonpartisan
technocrats to manage the country until elections.
(AP, 2/6/13)(AP, 2/7/13)
2013 Feb 7, In Tunisia the
Islamist Ennahda party, dominating the ruling coalition, rejected PM
Hamadi Jebali’s decision to replace the government to try to appease
critics, signaling that the political crisis brought on by the
assassination of a prominent leftist politician is far from over.
2013 Feb 8, Tens of thousands
of Tunisians chanting anti-government slogans converged on a
cemetery for the funeral of an assassinated leftist opposition
politician, as military helicopters hovered overhead and tensions
threatened to boil over into further violence.
2013 Feb 9, Several thousand
supporters of Tunisia's ruling moderate Islamist party rallied in
the capital in a pro-government demonstration. Protesters hurled
insults at France, accusing the former colonial ruler of interfering
in the North African country's politics.
2013 Feb 10, Tunisia’s state
news agency reported that the Congress for the Republic party, led
by President Moncef Marzouki, is quitting the coalition government,
which is led by Islamist party Ennahda.
2013 Feb 16, In Tunisia
thousands of supporters of the ruling Islamist party marched
in Tunis in response to rising criticism of the country’s
(SSFC, 2/17/13, p.A4)
2013 Feb 19, Tunisia's PM
Hamadi Jebali announced his resignation following a failed effort to
form a technocratic government to see the country out of its
political crisis. His own party, Ennahda, rejected his initiative,
insisting that the country still needed a government of politicians.
2013 Feb 22, Tunisia's ruling
Islamist party named Ali Larayedh, the interior minister seen as a
conservative loyalist, to form a new government.
2013 Mar 8, Tunisia's ruling
party nominated several respected figures not aligned with political
parties for key Cabinet posts, concessions to the opposition it
hopes will defuse the country's political crisis.
2013 Mar 13, Tunisian vendor
Adel Khedhri (27) died of full-body burns a day after setting
himself ablaze. He was from a poor town in northwestern Tunisia and
had struggled to find a steady job to support his mother and
2013 Apr 4, The Ukraine-based
group Femen, which stages pranks for women's and gay rights, held an
International Topless Jihad day in support of Muslim women. In
Tunisia a woman named Amina participated and went into hiding after
reportedly receiving death threats. On Apr 6 she reappeared in an
interview on French cable TV station Canal Plus saying she fears for
her life and wants to take refuge abroad.
2013 Apr 12, In Tunisia a mob
of alleged religious conservative Salafis attacked a police station
and clashed with security forces, leaving one person dead and two
wounded in the coastal town of Hergla.
2013 May 18, Massive numbers of
Tunisian police and army surrounded the religious center of Kairouan
to prevent a conference by salafists. The ultraconservative Muslim
group Ansar al-Shariah has been implicated in attacks around the
2013 May 19, In Tunisia some
11,000 police officers and soldiers blocked an annual conference by
a radical Islamist movement that has been implicated in attacks
across the country, prompting clashes with angry youths that
resulted in one death.
2013 May 19, Tunisian feminist
Amina Sboui (19), aka Amina Tyler, who scandalized her country by
posting topless photos of herself online, was arrested after
allegedly sneaking into Tunisia's holiest city disguised in a veil,
then trying to get undressed during a protest. Sboui was freed from
jail on Aug 1, but still faced trial for profanation of a
(AP, 5/20/13)(AP, 8/1/13)
2013 May 26, The Palm d’Or of
the 66th Cannes Film Festival went to “Blue Is the Warmest Color:
The Life of Adele,” a tender lesbian romance by Tunisian director
(SFC, 5/27/13, p.A2)
2013 May 28, A Tunisian court
convicted Amina Sboui, the Tunisian member of the Ukrainian feminist
group Femen, for carrying an "incendiary object" and fined her $182.
Her lawyers had argued that the 1894 statute on "incendiary objects"
should not apply to her can of pepper spray. She remained in custody
pending more serious charges.
2013 May 29, In Tunisia 3
foreign activists disrobed in front of the Ministry of Justice in
Tunis to protest against the jailing of Amina Sboui, a Tunisian
member of the Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN, quickly attracting a
crowd of offended Tunisians before the 3 women were hustled away by
2013 Jun 12, A Tunisian court
convicted 3 European feminist activists, who staged a topless
courthouse protest last month, sentencing them to four months and a
day in prison.
2013 Jun 26, A Tunisian court
decided to release three European feminist activists who staged a
topless protest in Tunis last month against the Islamist-led
2013 Jul 25, In Tunisia two
gunmen on a motorbike shot dead Mohammed Brahmi (58), the leader of
the leftist opposition People’s Party, outside his house. Thousands
of Tunisians gathered in front of the Interior Ministry building in
Tunis to protest against the assassination.
(AP, 7/25/13)(Reuters, 7/25/13)(Econ, 8/3/13,
2013 Jul 27, In Tunisia
thousands of protesters chanting anti-government slogans joined a
funeral march to lay to rest assassinated opposition politician
Mohammed Brahmi. One man was killed in violent protests in the
southern city of Gafsa.
(AP, 7/27/13)(Reuters, 7/27/13)
2013 Jul 29, The Tunisian army
blocked off a square where rival protesters had confronted each
other in Tunis, declaring it a "closed military zone" to try to
stave off rising unrest. Gunmen killed at least 8 soldiers, staging
the biggest attack on the security forces in decades.
2013 Aug 2, Tunisian forces
launched air and ground strikes on Islamist militants near the
Algerian border after fierce overnight clashes in the area.
2013 Aug 3, Tens of thousands
of Tunisians came out in a show of force for the ruling Ennahda
party. The opposition pledged to overtake those numbers in a rally
the next day.
2013 Aug 4, Tunisian police
shot dead an Islamist militant in Tunis and arrested several
suspected militants, as the government grappled with growing
security and political crises. One soldier was killed and seven
others wounded by a landmine near the Algerian border, where
security forces have been hunting Islamist militants.
2013 Aug 6, Tunisian police
shot dead an Islamist militant in a suburb on the outskirts of
2013 Aug 12, Tunisia carried
out air strikes on Islamist militants holed up in the Mount Chaambi
area near the Algerian border.
2013 Aug 23, Tunisia's secular
opposition said that the governing Islamists must quit power before
they would join negotiations to resolve the country's worst crisis
since its Arab Spring revolt, declaring otherwise the talks would be
a waste of time.
2013 Aug 27, Tunisia’s PM Ali
Larayedh declared Ansar al-Sharia a terrorist organization after
obtaining proof it killed two secular politicians and several
2013 Sep 7, Thousands of
Tunisians took to the streets of Bardo, near the capital Tunis,
calling for the government led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda
party to step down.
2013 Sep 9, Tunisian police
arrested a senior leader from a banned Islamist group and killed two
other militants during a raid near Tunis.
2013 Sep 23, Tunisia's ruling
Islamists rejected a plan under which they would step down pending
elections, a decision likely to deepen confrontation with secular
opponents demanding their immediate resignation.
2013 Sep 26, Tunisian rapper
Klay BBJ was jailed for six months for songs judged insulting by the
authorities, a verdict his supporters slammed as a sign of the
Islamist-led government's growing intolerance. On Oct 17 Klay BBJ
was acquitted by an appeals court.
(AFP, 9/26/13)(AFP, 10/17/13)
2013 Sep 28, Tunisia's
governing Islamist party agreed to step down following negotiations
with opposition parties that begin next week.
2013 Oct 11, Tunisian security
forces and suspected jihadists clashed near Mount Chaambi, a
stronghold of militants linked to Al-Qaeda, in the Kasserine area
near the Algerian border.
2013 Oct 17, In Tunisia
Islamist militants killed two policemen in clashes in the
northeastern city of Goubellat.
2013 Oct 18, In Tunisia
protesting security forces drove top leaders from a memorial
ceremony for two policeman killed by militants a day earlier.
2013 Oct 19, Tunisia said
government forces have killed 9 "terrorists" and seized two tons of
explosives in the north of the country where policemen died this
week in a jihadist attack.
2013 Oct 23, Thousands of
Tunisians marched through Tunis chanting for their government to
step down. Ruling Islamists and opposition leaders prepared to start
talks aimed at end months of political crisis. PM Ali Larayedh
said his government was committed in "principle" to resigning to
pave a way out of the crisis. Clashes between security forces and
gunmen rocked the central Sidi Bouzid region, leaving at least six
(Reuters, 10/23/13)(AFP, 10/24/13)
2013 Oct 24, Protesters in
Tunisia torched the office of the ruling Islamists in the town of
Kef, where a policeman killed in fighting with suspected jihadists
was to be buried.
2013 Oct 30, In Tunisia a man
blew himself up in front of a popular seaside hotel at Sousse. The
attack was believed to be the country's first suicide bombing.
Authorities in Monastir foiled a possibly related assault at the
mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba, modern Tunisia's secular founder.
2013 Nov 1, Tunisia's party
leaders met to choose a new premier to be tasked with replacing an
Islamist-led government and steering the country out of a
months-long political crisis.
2013 Nov 4, Tunisia's ruling
Islamists and opposition parties suspended talks over forming a new
caretaker government to end the country's crisis after the two sides
failed to agree on naming a prime minister.
2013 Nov 11, In Tunisia a man
(32) from a poor neighbourhood of Tunis set himself on fire outside
a government building and was rushed to a specialist medical clinic.
The man was reportedly a victim of deprived social circumstances,
suffered psychological problems, and had tried to kill himself late
last month by leaping from an electricity pylon.
2013 Nov 12, In Tunisia special
forces units from the National Guard killed a suspected militant and
arrested eight others in an early morning operation deep in the
desert south of the country.
2013 Nov 20, Tunisia signed a
$500 million loan agreement with energy-rich Qatar to help bolster
its currency reserves.
2013 Nov 27, In Tunisia angry
protesters set fire to the office of the ruling Islamist party in
the neglected Gafsa region, as strikes were observed in areas amid
rising discontent and political deadlock. Fifty policeman were
injured in clashes with protesters in the marginalised town of
Siliana where a general strike degenerated into violence.
(AFP, 11/27/13)(AP, 11/28/13)
2013 Dec 4, Tunisia's southern
Tozeur region ground to a halt, as the latest in a growing number of
strikes around the country was called to protest a lack of
2013 Dec 14, Tunisia's
political parties chose Industry Minister Mehdi Jomaa (50) to head a
government of independent figures aimed at pulling the country out
of a months-long crisis.
(AFP, 12/14/13)(SSFC, 12/15/13, p.A8)
2013 Dec 18, The Swiss
government said it has decided to keep 760 million Swiss francs
($858 million) in Egyptian and Tunisian assets frozen for three more
2013 Dec 29, Tunisian police
arrested seven Salafists in the western town of Kasserine, as
authorities feared radical Islamists may be planning attacks during
New Year celebrations.
2013 Dec 30, Libyan forces in
Misrata captured Saifallah Benahssine, the leader of Tunisia's
Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia. Benahssine had declared
loyalty to al Qaeda and was accused of inciting an attack on the US
embassy in Tunisia in September 2012.
2014 Jan 2, Tunisia says four
Ansar al-Shariah militants have been arrested after late-night
gunbattles between militants and security forces in the southern
city that was the cradle for the Arab Spring revolutions.
2014 Jan 4, Tunisian lawmakers
rejected Islam as the main source of law for the country that
spawned the Arab Spring as they voted for a second day on a new
2014 Jan 4, The Tunisian coast
guard fired on three Egyptian fishing boats intercepted in its
territorial waters. One boat captain was killed.
(SFC, 1/6/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 6, Tunisia's national
assembly voted to enshrine gender equality "without discrimination"
in its draft constitution, a key step towards safeguarding the most
liberal laws in the Arab world on women's rights. Unemployed
Tunisian youths ransacked an empty police post in the impoverished
central region of Gafsa overnight and torched its contents.
2014 Jan 8, In central Tunisia
clashes broke out between police and demonstrators protesting
economic hardship in Kasserine, as discontent mounts over new taxes
and government failure to improve living conditions, three years
after the revolution.
2014 Jan 9, Tunisia's Islamist
PM Ali Larayedh, who was tortured under the ousted Ben Ali regime,
resigned as part of a plan to end months of political deadlock. He
is to be replaced within 15 days by premier designate Mehdi Jomaa at
the head of a government of technocrats that will lead the country
to fresh elections this year under a new constitution.
2014 Jan 10, Tunisia's new
premier Mehdi Jomaa took office to lead a caretaker government until
elections this year.
2014 Jan 11, Riots over
Tunisia's economy flared overnight in towns around the country,
leaving one dead and posing an immediate challenge to the new prime
minister and the country's path to democracy.
2014 Jan 26, Tunisian lawmakers
voted on a new constitution, three years after its revolution, with
the premier-designate to unveil his cabinet on a landmark day for
the Arab Spring's birthplace.
2014 Jan 27, Tunisia’s
President Moncef Marzouki and the head of the National Assembly
signed a new constitution, enshrining one of its last steps toward
full democracy after a 2011 uprising that inspired the Arab Spring.
2014 Jan 29, Tunisia's new
technocratic government under PM Mehdi Jomaa (51) was sworn in.
(AFP, 1/29/14)(Econ, 1/18/14, p.49)
2014 Jan 30, Tunisia's central
bank expressed "optimism" after the IMF released a delayed $506
million loan to support the fragile economy following major steps
this week to end months of political turmoil.
2014 Feb 3, In Tunisia a gun
battle began after police raided a house in Tunis where weapons,
explosives and suicide bomb belts were found. By the next day 7
Islamist militants and a policeman were killed. The dead included
Kamel Ghadghadi, a senior member of the banned Islamist militant
group Ansar al-Shariah.
(Reuters, 2/4/14)(SFC, 2/5/14, p.A3)
2014 Feb 21, In Tunisia an
Islamist official in Libya's government and 10 other passengers and
crew were killed when a Libyan military plane carrying medical
patients crashed near Tunis.
2014 Feb, In Tunisia Imed
Dghij, a senior figure with the League for the Protection of the
Revolution (LPR), was arrested after threatening authorities in a
video posted online. He was sentenced in March to eight months in
jail for inciting violence and six months for attacking others on
social networks. In April an appeals court sharply reduced the first
sentence to three months and quashed the second one after
reclassifying the offence.
2014 Mar 6, Tunisia's Pres.
Moncef Marzouki lifted a state of emergency in force since the 2011
uprising that ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
(AP, 3/6/14)(SFC, 3/7/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 17, Tunisia police
shot and killed three suspected Islamist militants and arrested six
others in a raid near the Algerian border.
2014 Mar 31, Two Tunisian
police officers were convicted of raping a young woman in September
2012, and sentenced to seven years in prison in a case that drew
widespread protests after the victim was initially accused of
2014 Apr 4, Pres. Obama met
with Tunisia’s PM Mehdi Jomaa in Washington DC for talks on security
and financial aid. On returning home Jomaa said the US has extended
$500 million in new loan guarantees to Tunisia and lifted a State
Department warning about traveling there.
(SFC, 4/4/14, p.A4)(AP, 4/6/14)
2014 Apr 11, Switzerland said
it will hand over to Tunisia $40 million (29 million euros) stashed
in Swiss bank accounts by the family of ousted dictator Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali. Investigations into the origin of $28.5 million
2014 Apr 17, In Libya a
Tunisian diplomat was kidnapped in Tripoli. He was the 2nd to be
kidnapped since last month. Both men were released on June 30.
(Reuters, 4/17/14)(AP, 6/30/14)
2014 May 8, Tunisia’s President
Moncef Marzouk declared a state of emergency in Douz, a southern
desert town swept by days of clashes between rival tribes. An
overnight curfew would remain in force until May 22 because of the
2014 May 23, A Tunisian soldier
was killed and five wounded in a landmine explosion near the
Algerian border where security forces have been hunting Islamist
2014 May 25, In Tunisia
security forces arrested 16 suspects, including three Tunisians who
had just crossed over from Libya and were believed to be part of the
banned, al-Qaida-linked Ansar al-Shariah organization.
2014 May 26, A Tunisian court
decided to dissolve the League for the Protection of the Revolution
(LPR), a pro-Islamist group accused of inciting violence, as sought
by the powerful UGTT workers union.
2014 May 28, In Tunisia gunmen
attacked the Kasserine home of Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou
while his family was inside, killing 4 of the policeman standing
2014 Jun 12, Tunisian police
killed two Islamist militants during clashes near the Algerian
border and seized weapons and bombs.
2014 Jul 1, In Tunisia six
members of the security forces were wounded when a roadside bomb
exploded in the mountainous Kef region near the Algerian border.
2014 Jul 2, Tunisia state news
said 4 soldiers have been killed in a landmine blast during an
operation against Islamist militants in the north of the country. A
19-year-old was killed overnight by a landmine in the western border
region where the army has been battling Islamist militants.
(Reuters, 7/2/14)(AFP, 7/2/14)
2014 Jul 10, Tunisia detained
eight people in a "sweeping security operation" in the restive Sidi
Bouzid region, targeting radical Islamists belonging to the banned
Ansar al-Sharia group.
2014 Jul 16, In western Tunisia
some 40-60 militants staged two simultaneous attacks at sundown on
army posts while soldiers held a Ramadan feast, killing at least 14
soldiers. The body of a 15th soldier was found on July 18.
(AP, 7/17/14)(AFP, 7/19/14)
2014 Jul 26, In Tunisia at
least 2 soldiers were killed when Islamist militants attacked a
checkpoint in a remote area of Kef region near the Algerian border.
2014 Jul 30, Tunisia said up to
6,000 people a day were fleeing into the country from Libya as
violence between rival militias continued.
(SFC, 7/31/14, p.A6)
2014 Jul 31, In Libya 2
Egyptians were killed when Libyan guards opened fire to disperse
them as they tried to cross the border to Tunisia.
2014 Aug 1, Tunisia closed its
main border crossing with Libya after thousands of stranded Egyptian
and foreign nationals, fleeing militias' fighting and violence in
Libya, tried to break through the passage. Tunisian guards shot into
the air and fired tear gas to stop a group of Egyptians from
storming across the border.
(AP, 8/2/14)(Reuters, 8/1/14)
2014 Aug 3, A Tunisian soldier
was killed after Islamist militants tried to storm an army base in
the town of Sbitla near the Algerian border.
2014 Aug 3, In Libya the exodus
of foreigners gathered pace as the government said at least 22
people were killed in clashes in Tripoli and warned of a "worsening
humanitarian situation." Thousands of Egyptians seeking to flee were
being airlifted home after being allowed into neighboring Tunisia.
2014 Aug 21, Egypt's Cairo
airport and Tunisia cancelled most flights to and from Libya, days
after the Libyan government said unidentified war planes had
attacked positions of armed groups in Tripoli.
2014 Sep 16, Tunisia’s PM Mehdi
Jomaa said that security forces were heightening security across the
North African country with special focus in border areas monitoring
arms smuggling and Islamist groups.
2014 Sep 17, Tunisia’s interior
and defense ministries said police have killed 2 Islamist militants
in clashes near the Algerian border.
2014 Sep 19, Tunisia’s Okba Ibn
Nafaa, an Al-Qaeda-linked group, offered backing to the Islamic
State organization that has overrun chunks of Iraq and Syria,
becoming the third jihadist group to do so this week.
2014 Sep 20, Tunisian President
Moncef Marzouki announced he will stand for re-election in November,
in a key vote almost four years after a revolt that sparked the Arab
2014 Oct 23, A Tunisian
policeman was killed when security forces clashed with Islamist
militants on the outskirts of Tunis, as the country prepared for
parliamentary elections. Police arrested two men armed with assault
rifles in the southern of Kebili in a clash that left a bystander
(Reuters, 10/23/14)(AP, 10/23/14)
2014 Oct 24, Tunisian
counterterrorism forces stormed a home in a Tunis suburb after a
24-hour standoff, killing six people and seriously wounding a child.
2014 Oct 26, Tunisia held
parliamentary elections. The Islamist party Ennahda finished second
with 69 seats behind secular rival Nidaa Tounes with 85 of the 217
seats in parliament.
(AP, 10/26/14)(AP, 10/27/14)(Econ, 11/1/14, p.47)
2014 Nov 5, In Tunisia 3
soldiers were killed and 12 others were wounded in an attack by
suspected Islamist militants on a bus carrying soldiers in Kef near
the Algerian border. Two of the wounded died soon after.
(Reuters, 11/5/14)(AFP, 11/6/14)
2014 Nov 23, Tunisia held its
first free presidential election. Initial results showed Beji Caid
Essebsi (87), head of the Nida Tunis party, winning 47% of the vote.
Outgoing interim president Moncef Marzouki followed with 27% forcing
a runoff on Dec 28.
(AP, 11/23/14)(SFC, 11/24/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 20, In Tunisia one
gunman was killed by government troops and three others arrested
after they attacked a voting station late today, hours before polls
opened for a presidential run-off.
2014 Dec 21, Tunisians voted in
the runoff of the country's first free presidential election, with
authorities urging a big turnout to consolidate democracy after a
chaotic four-year transition. Veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi
(88) won the presidential election with 55.68 percent of the vote.
(AFP, 12/21/14)(Reuters, 12/22/14)
2014 Dec 25, Tunisian
authorities arrested blogger Yassine Ayari (33) as he returned home
from France. Ayari has been critical of the party of newly elected
president Beji Caid Essebsi. On November 18 Ayari was tried in
absentia on charges of "defaming" army officers and sentenced to
three years in jail, but he was unaware of the verdict.
2015 Jan 3, In Tunisia
suspected Islamist militants captured and killed a police officer
south of Tunis, stabbing him and slashing his throat as he traveled
home. Nine suspected militants were arrested. In late December four
men were convicted of cutting the throat of the 23-year-old
policeman in El Fahs. Three men were sentenced to death. A fourth
man, who is on the run, was sentenced to 22 years in jail.
(Reuters, 1/4/15)(AFP, 12/30/15)
2015 Feb 1, Tunisian party
leaders said the moderate Islamist party Ennahda has agreed to join
its main rival secular party Nidaa Tounes as part of a coalition
2015 Feb 5, Tunisia's
parliament approved a coalition government led by the secular Nidaa
Tounes party and including moderate Islamist rivals Ennahda,
following landmark elections in the birthplace of the Arab Spring.
2015 Feb 7, Tunisian
authorities said they have arrested 32 extremists over the last
several days and thwarted an ambitious plot to attack civilian and
military sites around the country, including the Interior Ministry.
Some 3,000 Tunisians were estimated to have left for jihad, mainly
with the Islamic State group, in Syria and Iraq.
2015 Feb 18, Four Tunisian
police were killed in a pre-dawn attack by suspected Al-Qaeda-linked
militants near the Algerian border.
2015 Mar 2, Tunisia canceled a
new tax imposed on travelers crossing Libya’s border after the
measure triggered rioting.
2015 Mar 3, An Italian coast
guard ship rescued 121 people after their boat capsized some 50
miles north of Libya. Ten bodies were recovered. Tunisian naval
forces rescued all 81 migrants onboard another boat that had started
taking on water off near the Tunisian island of Djerba. Several
merchant ships assisted in migrant rescues from seven separate boats
in a 24-hour period, bringing to safety almost 1,000 migrants,
including 30 children and 50 women, one of them pregnant.
2015 Mar 5, Tunisian troops
captured a large arms cache near the border with Libya, including
Kalashnikov rifles, rockets and landmines.
2015 Mar 16, The Islamic State
group reported the death of one of its top field commanders in
Libya. Ahmed al-Rouissi, one of the most wanted militants in
Tunisia, was killed recently in clashes around the city of Sirte.
2015 Mar 17, Tunisia said it
had dismantled 4 recruiting cells sending jihadis to fight in Libya
and arrested dozens in part of tighter security and border controls
to counter Islamist militants.
2015 Mar 18, In Tunisia gunmen
opened fire at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis. Overall 22 people
were killed, including 21 foreign tourists. Yassine al-Abidi and a
fellow gunman were killed by police. Security forces arrested nine
people the next day in connection with the attack.
(AP, 3/18/15)(AP, 3/19/15)(AP, 3/20/15)(AFP,
2015 Mar 20, EU leaders agreed
to increase cooperation with Tunisia following an Islamist attack on
tourists in the capital this week, saying they would also offer more
economic assistance to the new Arab democracy.
2015 Mar 28, In Tunisia Khaled
Ben Hamadi Chaieb, the operational chief in the March 18 deadly
museum attack on foreign tourists, was among 9 people killed in
anti-terrorist operations. Tens of thousands of Tunisians marched
through the capital to denounce extremist violence.
(Reuters, 3/29/15)(SFC, 3/30/15, p.A2)
2015 Apr 2, Tunisia's foreign
minister said that diplomatic relations with Syria will be restored
at a consular level, following a long hiatus that began during the
2015 Apr 7, In Tunisia 4
soldiers were killed and six wounded in an ambush in the Kasserine
region where the military is battling jihadists. A 5th soldier died
of his wounds the next day.
(AFP, 4/7/15)(AFP, 4/8/15)
2015 Apr 24, Tunisia said at
least 10 militants and 2 government soldiers have been killed in two
days of clashes in the central Kasserine region near the Algerian
2015 May 2, Tunisians unfurled
a national flag the size of 19 football pitches in a bid to set a
Guinness world record and promote patriotism in the face of Islamist
2015 May 18, Tunisia said that
it was negotiating for the release of 172 nationals held by a Libyan
militia as bargaining chips for one of its commanders detained in
2015 May 20, Italian police
said they have arrested a Moroccan man (22) on suspicion of
involvement in the March attack on the National Museum in Tunisia.
(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A2)
2015 May 23, At least 5
Tunisian migrants died when their boat sailing to Italy capsized off
the Tunisian coast.
2015 May 25, A Tunisian soldier
opened fire on fellow troops at a military barracks in Tunis,
killing 7 people before he was himself killed.
2015 Jun 10, A Tunisian court
annulled a 2011 decree confiscating the assets of ousted president
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his inner circle after an appeal from
the Ben Ali family, infuriating the government.
2015 Jun 10, Tunisia's navy
rescued 356 migrants including a two-month-old baby girl off the
country's southeastern coast near Ben Guerdane.
2015 Jun 12, In Libya an armed
group stormed the Tunisian consulate in Tripoli and kidnapped 10
staff. 7 people were shot dead at a protest against Islamic State in
the eastern city of Derna.
2015 Jun 15, In central Tunisia
3 policemen and a suspected jihadist were killed in clashes in Sidi
Ali Ben Aoun. A 2nd terrorist was wounded and arrested.
2015 Jun 16, A Tunisian
passenger train smashed into a semi-trailer truck killing 18 people
outside of Fahs. At least 86 passengers were injured.
(SFC, 6/17/15, p.A2)
2015 Jun 17, In Libya three of
10 staffers kidnapped from Tunisia's Tripoli consulate by militia on
June 12 were released, and the remainder were expected to be freed
soon. The release came as Tunisian authorities announced that a
Libyan man they have been holding, whose freedom was reportedly
demanded by the kidnappers, is to be deported.
2015 Jun 19, Tunisia said it
was shutting its consulate in conflict-hit Libya as 10 staffers
abducted by an armed militia in Tripoli returned home after a week
2015 Jun 26, In Tunisia 39
people were killed and 40 wounded in a gun attack on the five-star
Riu Imperial Marhaba beachside hotel in Sousse. The confirmed death
toll of Britons reached 30 out of the 38 foreign tourists who were
mowed down by a Kalashnikov-toting gunman, identified as 23-year-old
student Seifeddine Rezgui.
(Reuters, 6/26/15)(AFP, 6/29/15)(Reuters, 7/1/15)
2015 Jul 3 - 2015 Jul 10,
Tunisian authorities recovered 27 corpses of migrants off the
Mediterranean Coast who apparently died trying to reach Italy from
2015 Jul 4, Tunisian coast
guards recovered the decomposed bodies of 5 migrants who apparently
drowned at sea as they sought to reach Italy from conflict-hit
2015 Jul 9, Tunisia said its
army is building a 105-mile barrier along the border with Libya to
keep out extremists.
(SFC, 7/10/15, p.A3)
2015 Jul 10, Tunisian security
forces killed 5 Islamist militants in clashes in the mountains near
the central town of Gafsa and that military helicopters were
pursuing more in the area. Mourad Gharsalli, a senior leader of the
Al-Qaeda-linked Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigades jihadist group, was among
(Reuters, 7/10/15)(AFP, 7/11/15)
2015 Jul 23, In Tunisia one
militant was killed and 16 others arrested in a late-night operation
that foiled a planned attack.
2015 Jul 25, Tunisia's
parliament overwhelmingly approved legislation allowing the death
penalty for those convicted on terrorism charges after Islamist
militant attacks that killed dozens of foreign visitors in the past
2015 Aug 24, A Swiss official
says his country has made headway toward returning some $40 million
that was stolen from the Tunisian state and has been sitting in
Swiss banks since Tunisia's longtime regime collapsed in the Arab
2015 Sep 12, Hundreds of
Tunisians marched through the capital under heavy security to
protest a law offering amnesty for those accused of corruption.
2015 Sep 15, Tunisia, whose
economy has remained stagnant since the ouster of a long-time
dictator in 2011, unveiled the outlines of a five-year plan to cut
unemployment by stimulating growth.
2015 Sep 30, Tunisian troops
stopped two bomb-laden cars crossing from Libya and seized arms and
documents bearing the symbol of Islamic State.
2015 Oct 9, Tunisia's National
Dialogue Quartet won the Nobel Peace Prize for helping build
democracy in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, an example of
peaceful transition in a region otherwise struggling with violence
2015 Nov 4, In Tunisia 30
lawmakers from the ruling party suspended their membership and
threatened to resign in protest over what they called attempts by
President Beji Caid Essebsi's son to control the party.
2015 Nov 13, In Tunisia
Islamist militants beheaded a teenager in the central province of
Sidi Bouzid and sent his head to his family after accusing him of
spying for the military.
2015 Nov 15, In Tunisia at
least 3 Islamist militants and a Tunisian soldier were killed in
clashes in the central Kasserine province, near the Algerian border.
2015 Nov 24, In Tunisia a
suicide bomber attacked a presidential guard bus killing at least 12
people. A day later the Islamic State group claimed responsibility
for the attack.
(Reuters, 11/25/15)(AP, 11/25/15)
2015 Dec 14, In Tunisia a
lawyer said a court last week sentenced six students to three years
in jail each on charges of homosexuality in a judgment condemned by
2015 Dec 22, Tunisia extended
for another two months a state of emergency imposed after a deadly
November bus bombing claimed by the Islamic State group.
2016 Jan 16, In Tunisia Ridha
Yahyaoui (28) died from electrocution after scaling a utility pole
in Kasserine. He had recently been denied a government job and
reportedly threatened suicide.
(Econ, 1/30/16, p.42)
2016 Jan 21, In Tunisia a
police officer died in clashes with young protesters who had
overturned his car during one of a series of demonstrations against
mass unemployment, as unrest triggered by the death of an
unsuccessful job-seeker spread to at least 11 cities around the
2016 Jan 22, Tunisia declared a
nighttime curfew across the country after a wave of protests and
clashes that constitute the most serious outbreak of social unrest
since its 2011 revolution.
2016 Jan 22, France said it
will provide one billion euros ($1.1 billion) to Tunisia over the
next five years as part of an economic support package.
2016 Jan 25, In Tunisia several
thousand police marched to the presidential palace to demand more
pay in the latest challenge to PM Habib Essid's government after a
week of protests and riots over jobs.
2016 Feb 6, Tunisia said it has
completed a 200-km (125 mile) barrier along its frontier with Libya
to try to keep out Islamist militants, and will soon install
electronic monitoring systems.
2016 Feb 19, In Libya a US air
strike killed 49 people near Tripoli, where members suspected of the
Islamic State group were gathered. A Western official quoted by the
NY Times said the strike targeted a senior Tunisian operative linked
to two major jihadist attacks in Tunisia last year. Most of those
killed were believed to be from Tunisia. Two Serbian Embassy staff
members abducted in Libya in November were among those killed. The
Serbians were later said to have been associated with weapons deals.
(AFP, 2/19/16)(Reuters, 2/19/16)(Reuters,
2/20/16)(Econ, 4/16/15, p.44)
2016 Feb 22, In central Tunisia
a suspected jihadist was killed in an exchange of fire with security
forces in in the Mount Mghila area.
2016 Feb 29, Britain's defense
minister said about 20 UK troops are being sent to Tunisia to help
stop people crossing illegally from chaotic Libya.
2016 Mar 7, In Tunisia dozens
of Islamist fighters stormed through the town of Ben Guerdan near
the Libyan border attacking army and police posts in a raid that
killed 55 people, including civilians.
(Reuters, 3/7/16)(Reuters, 3/8/16)
2016 Mar 9, In Tunisia 2
"terrorists" and a soldier were killed in a firefight in the Oued
Rbyaa area. The confrontation came after jihadists on the run raided
a building site in search of provisions and stole food from workers
2016 Mar 12, Tunisia's PM Habib
Essid called for civil servants and the general public to donate
part of their wages to an anti-terrorism fund, following a deadly
assault on a town near the Libyan border. The statement came after
President Beji Caid Essebsi donated a month's salary to the fund at
a post office in central Tunis.
2016 May 11, In Tunisia two
suspected jihadists were killed during a security operation near the
capital against a cell planning "simultaneous" attacks. Sixteen
others were arrested during the operation in Ariana province.
2016 May 11, The southern
Tunisia of Ben Guerdane went on strike in protest at a decision by
Libyan authorities late last month to halt cross-border trade on
which its economy depends.
2016 May 23, Tunisia's Islamist
Ennahda party voted to separate its political and religious work,
part of the group's effort to cast itself as a modern political
party in line with the North African country's secular heritage.
2016 May 30, In Tunisia 2
civilians were killed and one other injured by a landmine planted by
jihadist groups in a mountainous region near the Algerian border.
2016 Jul 12, Human Rights Watch
urged an end to "forced anal examinations" with a report documenting
them in eight countries, mostly in Africa, saying the practice is
based on flawed ideas about supposedly proving homosexual conduct.
The report drew on interviews with 32 men and transgender women
subjected to the exams in eight countries that ban same-sex conduct:
Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda and
2016 Jul 25, Hundreds of
Tunisian demonstrated in the capital to protest against a bill being
discussed in parliament to grant amnesty to people accused of
2016 Aug 3, Tunisian President
Beji Caid Essebsi named local affairs minister Youssef Chahed (40)
as prime minister-designate tasked with forming a unity cabinet to
tackle major economic and security challenges.
2016 Aug 26, Tunisia's
Parliament approved Youssef Chahed (41) as prime minister along with
a new government focused on boosting the economy and fighting
2016 Nov 4, Tunisia's PM
Youssef Chahed sacked Salem Abd El Jalil, the minister of religious
affairs. A day earlier local media quoted Jalil as saying in
parliament: "I told the Saudi ambassador in Tunisia that terrorism
and extremism historically came from you ... You should reform your
2016 Nov 5, Tunisian TV
reported that a soldier has been killed in his home near central
Mount Mghilla, an area where jihadist fighters operate.
2016 Nov 16, Tunisia said
authorities have dismantled a jihadist cell that was planning
attacks against a security station and a commercial center in the
2016 Nov 29, Tunisia won
pledges of more than a billion dollars in financial support at an
investment conference aimed at reviving the country's struggling
economy. More than 2,000 business, finance and political leaders
from 40 countries attended the two-day "Tunisia 2020" conference.
2016 Dec 5, Tunisia’s
parliament's finance committee approved a budget draft that would
tax lawyers between about $8 to $20 on each file they present to
court. The levy was part of austerity measures proposed for 2017 by
a government under pressure from international lenders to cut the
2016 Dec 6, Several thousand
Tunisian lawyers demonstrated in front of the prime minister's
office, with some demanding his resignation as they escalated a
protest against widely unpopular new taxes that will hit them and
other high-end professions.
2016 Dec 15, Mohammed Alzoari
(Zawari) (49), an aerospace engineer and drone expert, was found
gunned down in his car near his home in Sfax, Tunisia. He had joined
the military wing of Hamas in 2006 and led the development of its
drones. Hamas accused Israel of assassinating him. Tunisian
authorities later said they had arrested 10 Tunisians but two
foreigners suspected of plotting the killing escaped. On May 15,
2018, Bosnian citizen Elvir Sarac, sought by Tunisia on terrorism
charges over his alleged role in the killing, was arrested. Police
in Croatia in March 2018 had arrested a Bosnian citizen wanted by
Tunisia on same charges.
(AP, 12/18/16)(Reuters, 5/16/18)
2016 Dec 24, Tunisian security
forces said they have arrested three suspected militants after
uncovering their links to Anis Amri, the Tunisian national believed
responsible for the Dec 19 Berlin Christmas market attack that
killed 12 people.
2016 Dec 28, In Tunisia at
least five people were killed and more than 50 injured on when a
train slammed into a public bus before dawn near Tunis.
2016 Dec 29, Tunisian security
forces said that they had broken up an al Qaeda-linked militant cell
with 10 members that was active near the coastal city of Sousse.
2016 Tunisian authorities
arrested Bernard Raymond Augustine (18) of California for entering
the country illegally with the intent to travel to Libya to
participate in Islamic State activities. Augustine served two years
in jail and in 2018 was turned over to the FBI agents and
transported to New York.
(SFC, 2/28/18, p.D1)
2017 Jan 21, Representatives of
Libya's neighbors meeting in Cairo warned the North African nation's
main rival factions against seeking to settle their differences
through military force, as Egypt announced that efforts were
underway to bring their leaders together to chart a "joint vision"
for the country. The representatives came from Libya, Egypt, Sudan,
Algeria, Chad, Niger and Tunisia as well as the UN envoy to Libya.
2017 Jan 27, The European Union
prolonged for a year sanctions against dozens of Tunisians,
including ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, accused of
illegally using state funds.
2017 Mar 3, Chancellor Angela
Merkel said Tunisia had agreed to take back 1,500 rejected Tunisian
migrants from Germany, after an attack by a Tunisian on a Christmas
market in Berlin which killed 12 people.
2017 Mar 12, In southwest
Tunisia Islamist militants attacked a checkpoint in Kebili, killing
a policeman and wounding three others. Two militants were also
killed in an exchange of fire during the attack.
2017 Mar 29, Tunisia's former
PM Mehdi Jomaa launched a new political party which he said would be
non-ideological and could "restore hope for Tunisians" frustrated by
the country's transition.
2017 Apr 11, Tunisia's
journalists Union said violations against journalists are on the
rise as authorities try to control local media, warning this
threatened press freedom and the country's young democracy.
2017 May 10, Tunisia's
President Beji Caid Essebsi ordered the army to protect phosphate,
gas and oil production facilities after protests aimed at disrupting
output broke out in the south of the country.
2017 May 10, In Tunisia Oliver
Potezica (64), Serbia's ambassador to Libya, died some days after a
car crash near Sousse.
2017 May 13, In Tunisia
thousands of people marched through Tunis to protest an “economic
reconciliation” bill that would give amnesty to businessmen and
officials accused of graft during the rule of Zine el-Abidine Ben
Ali. The bill would allow ill-gotten to be secretly declared and
repaid to the state, which hoped to use the funds to plug a 5.9% of
GDP budget deficit this year.
(Econ 5/20/17, p.42)
2017 May 20, Tunisian troops
fired shots in the air to disperse protesters who tried to close
down a gas pumping in southern Tatatouine province as part of their
demands for jobs.
2017 May 21, Tunisian media
said protesters demanding jobs and a share in energy wealth have
closed down another oil pumping station in defiance of government
efforts to protect oil and gas fields with troops and negotiate an
end to unrest.
2017 May 22, Tunisian security
forces firing teargas clashed with protesters after they burned down
two police stations following the death of a young man hit by a
police vehicle during protests over jobs in the south.
2017 May 26, Switzerland said
it is transferring 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) to Tunisia that
had been frozen in connection with a close relative of former
President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Tunisian authorities will
determine what to do with the assets.
2017 May 28, Tunisian security
forces late today killed a leader of the Islamic State group who was
plotting attacks during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The
suspect was a Tunisian known as Houssem Tlithi (1997).
2017 Jun 1, A court in northern
Tunisia handed one-month jail terms to four men for eating in public
during the Muslim dawn-to-dusk fasting month of Ramadan. Tunisia has
no specific law banning eating in public during Ramadan, a
controversy which resurfaces each year in the North African country.
2017 Jun 14, Tunisia announced
that it has extended for another four months a state of emergency in
place since a 2015 jihadist attack.
2017 Jul 26, It was reported
that Tunisia’s PM Youssef Chahed has embarked on a sweeping
crackdown against organized crime, arresting nearly a dozen mafia
bosses and smuggling barons in recent weeks.
(SFC, 7/26/17, p.A2)
2017 Jul 26, Britain said it
has lifted an advisory against travel to Tunisia, paving the way for
tourists to return to the country's Mediterranean beaches two years
after a deadly attack.
2017 Sep 6, Tunisia's PM
Youssef Chahed named a new cabinet, including the newly created post
of economic reforms minister, after reaching a deal with political
parties following weeks of infighting over posts.
2017 Sep 14, Tunisia said it
has abolished a decades-old ban on Muslim women marrying
non-Muslims. The ban dated back to 1973.
2017 Sep 22, Tunisia’s minister
for human rights said Tunisia has committed itself to ban forced
anal examinations to determine sexual orientation. Homosexuality is
still punishable by three years in jail under Article 230 of
Tunisia's criminal code.
2017 Oct 8, Eight Tunisian
migrants died and a further 20 are believed to be missing after a
Tunisian naval ship collided with a wooden boat packed with
2017 Nov 1, In Tunisia
suspected Islamist militant Zied Gharbi (25) wounded two policemen
with a knife near the parliament in Tunis. He was soon arrested.
Commander Riadh Barrouta died the next of the injuries he sustained
after being stabbed in the neck by a suspected Islamic extremist.
(Reuters, 11/1/17)(AP, 11/2/17)
2017 Nov 18, French-Tunisian
fashion designer Azzedine Alaia (b.1935) died in Paris after winning
a worldwide following.
2017 Dec 5, The European Union
put 17 non-EU countries on a blacklist of those it deems guilty of
unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes. They Included: American
Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau,
Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St. Lucia,
Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates. Over
40 more were put on a "grey list" to be monitored until they are
fully committed to reforms.
2017 Dec 24, Tunisia suspended
all flights by Emirates to and from Tunis after the Dubai-based
airline barred Tunisian women from boarding its flights last week.
UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash soon
replied on Twitter that the ban was temporary and due to security
(Reuters, 12/25/17)(AP, 12/25/17)
2018 Jan 8, The Committee to
Protect Journalists called on Sudan to stop its crackdown on local
newspapers reporting on protests over bread price hikes.
2018 Jan 10, Tunisian police
arrested 328 people and fired tear gas as protesters hurled rocks
and burned tires during further nationwide demonstrations over price
2018 Jan 11, Tunisian
authorities, following a third night of unrest, said more than 600
people have been arrested this week as anger at austerity measures
2018 Jan 12, Tunisian
authorities arrested another 150 people including local opposition
leaders, bringing the total detained close to 800 in response to
demonstrations this week against price and tax rises.
2018 Jan 13, Tunisian President
Beji Caid Essebsi held talks with political parties, unions and
employers to discuss means to overcome a week of unrest triggered by
2018 Jan 14, Tunisians marked
seven years since the uprising that launched the Arab Spring, with
fresh protests after days of unrest over persisting poverty and
2018 Jan 23, European Union
finance ministers agreed to remove eight jurisdictions from the
bloc's blacklist of tax havens, one month after the list was set up.
Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Tunisia and the
United Arab Emirates joined Panama as jurisdictions delisted
following commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU
2018 Feb 1, France's President
Emmanuel Macron said he would push to double French investment in
Tunisia over five years to buttress its faltering economy and
transition to democracy.
2018 Feb 26, In Tunisia Spanish
PM Mariano Rajoy and Tunisian counterpart Youssef Chahed signed
eight accords in Tunis reviving ties after a decade-long freeze,
pledging notably to work together on security and women's right.
2018 Mar 1, In Tunisia dozens
of judges and lawyers staged a work stoppage outside a court near
Tunis over alleged pressure from police in a trial involving their
2018 Mar 19, In Tunisia a
militant blew himself up as government security forces surrounded
him and another fighter in a house in Ben Guerdan near the Libyan
2018 Mar 19, The Tunisian
government said an unidentified armed group in southwestern Cameroon
has kidnapped two Tunisians working on a road construction project
for a Tunisian company.
2018 Apr 10, Italian
authorities said they have arrested 13 suspects in a high-speed
migrant trafficking ring operating between Tunisia and Sicily whose
members espoused radical jihadist views.
2018 Apr 21, Libya's foreign
ministry said Tunisia has reopened its consulate, the latest mission
to return to Tripoli.
2018 Apr 29, In Tunisia police
and military personnel voted in the country's local elections for
the first time.
2018 May 3, It was reported
that Tunisia's PM Youssef Chahed has opened a conference on dialogue
between religions on the island of Djerba during an annual Jewish
pilgrimage that is taking place amid high security.
2018 May 6, Tunisians voted in
their first free municipal elections. The Islamist Ennahda and
secular Nidaa Tounis parties, which form a coalition at national
level, were expected to dominate the polls for 350 municipalities.
2018 May 17, A Bosnian court
said it had rejected a request from Tunisia to hand over Elvir
Sarac, a Bosnian national wanted on terrorism charges, over his
alleged role in the 2016 killing of Mohammed Zawari, a Tunisian whom
Palestinian group Hamas said was one of its members.
2018 Jun 3, Tunisia's coast
guard rescued 68 migrants. At least 46 others were killed after
their boat sank near Kerkennah island. Officials later said there
were 60 confirmed deaths and 52 people missing and presumed dead
from the capsizing off Tunisia's eastern city of Sfax.
(AP, 6/3/18)(SFC, 6/4/18, p.A2)(AP, 6/5/18)
2018 Jun 22, Tunisia arrested
the main organizer of a migrant smuggling operation after at least
87 people drowned on June 3 when their boat sank off the southern
2018 Jun 24, In Tunisia
shepherd (28) Mohamed Griri died one day after he was attacked by
jihadists on Mount Chaambi. He had been bashed in the head and his
nose cut off. Mount Chaambi is also a stronghold of the
Al-Qaeda-linked Okba Ibn Nafaa Battalion.
2018 Jul 3, In Tunisia Souad
Abederrahim (54) was elected by the Tunis municipal council to
serve as the city's first female mayor.
(SFC, 7/4/18, p.A2)
2018 Jul 8, In Tunisia at least
six members of the national guard were killed in an apparent attack
by an armed group near the Algerian border.
2018 Jul 13, Germany deported a
Tunisian man who allegedly worked as a bodyguard for Osama bin
Laden, more than a decade after his asylum bid was first rejected.
He was identified by German authorities only as Sami A. and by Tunis
as Sami Idoudi, and had lived in Germany for more than two decades.
2018 Jul 23, Tunisia's Red
Crescent said a Tunisian boat carrying around 40 African migrants
has been stranded off the country's coast without aid for more than
a week after authorities refused to let them disembark there.
2018 Jul, In northern Tunisia
sanitary engineer Mohamed Oussama Houij (27) set out to walk a
300-km (185-mile) stretch of coastline and clean up 30 beaches along
the way. Nearly 150 km and 14 beaches later, Houij was astounded by
the sheer volume of waste he's found along the shore. "We're talking
tons of rubbish... The more you clean, the more you find. It never
2018 Aug 3, Tunisian
authorities said they had arrested two suspects in connection with a
biological bomb plot thwarted on June 12 by police in Germany.
2018 Aug 11, In Tunisia
thousands of people demonstrated in front of parliament against any
changes to inheritance rules.
2018 Aug 13, Tunisia's
President Beji Caid Essebsi proposed giving women equal inheritance
rights despite protests from thousands of people objecting to any
challenge to Islamic law.
2018 Aug 23, Tunisia’s coast
guard recovered the bodies of five migrants whose boat sank as they
tried to cross the Mediterranean to the Italian island of Lampedusa.
2018 Aug 31, Tunisia's PM
Youssef Chahed sacked the energy minister, Khaled Kaddour, and four
other senior figures linked to that ministry over corruption
2018 Sep 22, Severe floods
struck northeastern Tunisia, killing at least four people and
damaging homes, bridges, roads and fields.
2018 Oct 29, In Tunisia suicide
bomber Mna Guebla (30) blew herself up on Tunis' busy upmarket
Avenue Habib Gourguiba, wounding 26 people including eight police in
what the Interior Ministry called a "terrorist explosion".
(Reuters, 10/29/18)(AP, 11/30/18)
2018 Oct 30, In Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the G20 Compact with Africa meeting
saying it's critical "not only to talk about Africa but to talk with
Africa" about development needs and goals. So far 11 countries have
joined the program: Benin, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana,
Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia.
2018 Nov 8, Tunisian President
Beji Caid Essebsi said he was ready to swear in ten new ministers
named in a reshuffle that he had originally rejected, easing a
high-level political standoff that has alarmed donors.
2018 Nov 15, In Tunisia a
three-day forum opened in Tunis for a conference on freedom of
expression and new challenges facing the media. It attracted 600
journalists, bloggers, newspaper chiefs and media academics from
Arabic and French-speaking countries across the Mediterranean,
Africa and Europe.
2018 Nov 22, Tunisian civil
servants staged the largest general strike in five years after their
powerful trade union failed to secure wage hikes in tense
negotiations with the government.
2018 Nov 27, Hundreds of
Tunisian protesters marched through Tunis in opposition to a planned
visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, urging justice over
the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
2018 Nov 30, Tunisia's interior
ministry said authorities have arrested 12 suspected members of the
Islamic State group and seized bomb making materials since a suicide
attack last month.
2018 Dec 24, In Tunisia police
fired tear gas at dozens of people who took to the streets late
today in the city of Kasserine, setting tires ablaze and blocking
the main street. Journalist Abdel Razaq Zorgi (32) died after
setting himself on fire in the protest over harsh living conditions.
2018 Dec 26, Tunisian
authorities said 18 people have been arrested during protests that
erupted after the death of a journalist who set himself on fire to
protest economic problems in the North African nation.
2018 Dec 27, In Tunisia
protesters clashed with police for a third consecutive night in six
different towns including Kasserine, where journalist Abderrazak
Zorgui set himself ablaze earlier this week.
2018 Tunisia granted women
equal rights under inheritance laws.
(Econ, 8/3/19, p.41)
2019 Jan 3, In Tunisia two
alleged jihadists blew themselves up during an early morning raid by
security forces on a house in the central region of Sidi Bouzid.
2019 Jan 17, A public sector
strike brought Tunisia to a standstill as workers heeded calls from
a powerful trade union to stay home over demands for wage hikes and
2019 Jan 27, In Tunisia secular
government leaders announced a new party called Long Live Tunisia
which is to be led by PM Youssef Chahed and will compete with
moderate Islamists in upcoming elections.
2019 Feb 9, A Tunisian court
sentenced seven jihadists to life in prison over attacks at a museum
and on a beach in 2015 that killed 60 people, many of them British
2019 Mar 8, In Tunisia 11
newborn babies died over the last two days at the Rabta clinic in
Tunis, which is part of a large medical center in the capital.
Tunisia's health minister soon resigned following the sudden deaths.
On March 10 a 12th infant died at the Rabta state hospital. The
deaths were believed to have been caused by an infection acquired in
(AFP, 3/10/19)(AFP, 3/11/19)
2019 Mar 26, In Tunisia UN
official Moncef Kartas, charged with investigating alleged
violations of a UN arms embargo on Libya, was detained in Tunis on
suspicion of spying. On March 29 Tunisian authorities confirmed that
they had detained two Tunisians, including Kartas, on suspicion of
"spying for foreign parties".
(AFP, 3/29/19)(AFP, 4/13/19)
2019 Mar 31, In Tunisia Arab
leaders, long divided by regional rivalries, condemned a US decision
to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights and said
Middle East stability depended on creating an Palestinian state.
2019 Apr 6, Tunisia's Pres.
Beji Caid Essebsi (92) said he did not plan to stand for re-election
in the November polls, in order to make way for someone younger.
2019 Apr 25, Tunisian police
stormed the offices of the private Nesna television station and cut
it off the air over accusations it had breached broadcasting rules,
which the channel called an attempt to silence its voice criticizing
2019 Apr 27, In Tunisia seven
women day laborer's being transported to work on a farm in the back
of a pickup were among 12 people killed when it collided with a
2019 Apr 29, In Tunisia about
5,000 people protested in central Sidi Bouzid city against
marginalization and deteriorating conditions, two days after the
deaths of 12 female rural workers in a traffic accident.
2019 May 1, 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, a move aimed at defusing discontent about economic
2019 May 2, In Tunisia fuel
distribution workers began a three-day strike to demand higher
wages, leading to long queues and empty pumps at petrol stations
across the North African nation.
2019 May 3, Tunisia ordered the
army to transport fuel to petrol stations on the second day of a
strike by fuel distribution workers that has caused empty pumps and
long queues across the country.
2019 May 10, Tunisian fishermen
rescued 16 people and brought them to shore in Zarzis. Around 60
migrants, most of them from Bangladesh, died after their boat
capsized in the Mediterranean Sea after it left Libya for Italy.
2019 May 27, In Tunisia Nabil
Karoui (50), the controversial founder of a major private television
channel, said he will run for the presidency in November polls.
2019 Jun 27, In Tunisia double
suicide attacks shook Tunis, even as the country was plunged into
uncertainty with the hospitalization of President Beji Caid Essebsi
who was said to be in "critical condition".
2019 Jul 3, A boat carrying 86
migrants from Libya sank off the Tunisian city of Zarzis and only
three passengers are known to have survived the shipwreck.
2019 Jul 25, Tunisia's Pres.
Beji Caid Essebsi (92), the country's first democratically elected
leader, died in Tunis. The legislature's President Mohamed Ennaceur,
head of parliament, said he is taking over as the country's interim
2019 Aug 23, In Tunisia Nabil
Karoui, a media magnate considered to be a leading candidate in
presidential elections, was jailed along with his brother on
allegations of tax evasion and money laundering. Supporters of
Karoui accused PM Youssef Chahed of plotting against the tycoon.
(SSFC, 8/25/19, p.A6)
2019 Sep 2, In Tunisia a
national guard chief and three extremists were killed in a clash in
the Kef mountains, on the first day of the country's presidential
2019 Sep 7, In Tunisia eight
presidential candidates stood behind their podiums aiming to impress
Tunisian voters this evening in the young democracy's first ever
televised election debate.
2019 Sep 15, Tunisians cast
ballots in their country's second democratic presidential election,
choosing among 26 candidates for a leader who can safeguard its
young democracy and tackle its unemployment, corruption and economic
despair. There was no clear favorite, suggesting that the vote,
which included two female candidates, will only be the first round
of the presidential election. Tunisians delivered a political
earthquake by rejecting established leaders for a little known law
professor and a media mogul jailed on suspicion of tax evasion. Kais
Saied and Nabil Karoui led 24 other candidates.
(AP, 9/15/19)(Reuters, 9/16/19)
2019 Sep 17, Tunisia's
electoral commission said law professor Kais Saied and detained
media mogul Nabil Karoui won the most votes in the Sept. 15
presidential election, beating veteran political leaders to advance
to a second-round runoff.
2019 Sep 19, Former Tunisian
President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (83) died in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The autocrat had led his small North African country for 23 years
before being toppled by nationwide protests that unleashed revolt
across the Arab world.
2019 Oct 6, Tunisians voted for
a new parliament but quiet polling stations gave an indication of
the economic disillusionment that has emerged since the 2011
revolution and brought political newcomers to challenge established
parties. Two polls estimated that Islamist party Ennahdha would win
about 40 of the 217 seats in the Assembly of People's
(Reuters, 10/6/19)(SFC, 10/7/19, p.A2)
2019 Oct 9, Tunisia freed
presidential candidate Nabil Karoui. This came shortly before the
electoral body announced that his secular Heart of Tunisia party had
won 38 seats in the Oct. 6 parliamenatry elections, finishing 2nd to
Islamist party Ennahda's 52 seats.
(SFC, 10/10/19, p.A2)
2019 Oct 13, Tunisians cast
ballots to choose their next president. In the runoff Saied, an
independent law professor, faced Nabil Karoui, a media mogul facing
corruption allegations. Exit polls declared a landslide election win
for Kais Saied.
(Reuters, 10/13/19)(Reuters, 10/14/19)
2019 Nov 15, Tunisia's moderate
Islamist Ennahda, which came first in last month's parliamentary
elections, named Habib Jemli, a former junior agriculture minister,
as its choice to become prime minister.
2019 Dec 1, In northern Tunisia
a regional bus crashed off a hill this morning, killing 22 of 43
local passengers who were on an excursion in the Amdoun region.
2020 Jan 27, Ennahda, the
biggest party in Tunisia's parliament, rejected the idea of a
government that excludes other parties, adding that it was ready to
contest another election.
2020 Feb 7, Tunisia fired
Moncef Baati, its ambassador to the UN, accusing him of failing to
consult the foreign ministry on key issues that diplomatic sources
said included Washington's controversial Middle East peace plan.
2020 Mar 6, In Tunisia two
suicide bombers blew themselves up near the US Embassy on the
outskirts of Tunis, killing a police officer and wounding four
2020 Mar 23, Tunisia's
President Kais Saied ordered the army to deploy in the streets to
force people to respect a lockdown imposed to halt the spread of
coronavirus. Tunisia has 89 confirmed cases of the virus.
2020 Apr 3, It was reported
that Tunisia has deployed a police robot to patrol areas of Tunis,
to ensure that people are observing a coronavirus lockdown. The
country has reported 436 cases of COVID-19 and 14 deaths.