On Monday, December 30, Tunisian President Kais Saïed announced the extension of the ongoing nationwide state of emergency for an additional month. The renewed order is now effective through January 30, 2020.
The state of emergency gives authorities additional powers, such as the suspension of certain civil rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution, in the interest of maintaining civil order as part of broader counterterrorism and anti-corruption efforts. Specifically, under the state of emergency, authorities can ban strikes and gatherings deemed likely to cause disorder, temporarily close theaters and bars), impose curfews, and secure control over the press and all types of publications.
Tunisia has been under a near-constant state of emergency since June 2015. Although briefly lifted in October 2015, it was reinstated following the November 2015 bus bombing that killed a dozen security guards in downtown Tunis. Tunis has been targeted by several recent suicide bombings, including in November 2018, and in June and July 2019.
Individuals in Tunisia are advised to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities, particularly when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted in an attack (e.g. public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.). Certain Western governments advise against travel to the south of the country (e.g. regions on the borders with Algeria and Libya, and in Kasserine province), due to the presence of armed groups.
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