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Bardo Museum attack: priorities and promises

There was shock and dismay yesterday after gunmen killed tourists in rampage at the national Bardo Museum, a jewel of Tunisian heritage. At least 20 people have been killed during a three-hour siege and hostage situation.

The attack came a day after Tunisia announced a major seizure of weapons from jihadi groups, triggering speculation that the museum attack may have been launched in revenge. The irony being that members of Parliament were discussing counter-terrorist legislation when they were ordered to evacuate the building due to the sound of gunfire…

Hours after the deadly attack, thousands of Tunisians flocked to the capital’s main thoroughfare, Avenue Habib Bourguiba, waving red Tunisian flags and singing songs from the 2011 Arab spring revolution.

President Beji Caid Essebsi said: “I want the people of Tunisia to understand firstly and lastly that we are in a war with terror, and these savage minority groups will not frighten us. The fight against them will continue until they are exterminated.” Maybe it’s time for the government to focus on this war on terror instead of closing cultural centers and muzzling freedom of expression (da-eYe for freedom of expression in Tunisia)…

This tweet I posted the day of the Bardo attack was referencing to a previous tweet I posted a week earlier, in French, about the unfair closing of the Mass’Art Cultural Center in Tunis:

The UN Secretary-General condemned that attack, so did the White House and many other officials around the world. But after the assassination of Chokri Belaïd and Mohamed Brahmi in 2013, and other tragic events that marked out the past two years, Tunisia needs more than statements, it needs full support from theses countries on this expensive fight on terrorism and violence. I remember the promises made after the revolution in 2011, words are worthless if they aren’t followed by actions; now is time to put words into action.

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