Tunisia, Cradle of Arab Spring, Near Political Collapse

Tunisia, Cradle of Arab Spring, Near Political Collapse

Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring, and was seen as one of that movement’s few success stories after the failure and ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Yet Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party is facing the potential collapse of its rule, following calls by the opposition to resign, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The unrest in Tunisia has largely gone unnoticed in the rest of the U.S. media, though it has been reported abroad. In August, the UK Guardian reported: “What was supposed to be the success story of the Arab spring… Tunisia’s growing crisis has become inextricably entangled in the Arab spring’s wider unravelling as dreadful events across north Africa and through the wider Arab world have fuelled each other.”

The trigger of the Tunisian crisis was a series of murders of prominent opposition figures over the past several months, combined with attacks on soldiers. The opposition accuses the government of being unable–and unwilling–to confront a growing threat from Islamist terror groups that have thrived in the region.

Now, opposition supporters are taking to the streets and setting Ennahda party offices on fire, the Journal reports, and members of the police are joining them. A similar alliance between demonstrators and security forces resulted in the Egyptian coup in July and the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood.