Practical preparations began in Algeria for the early parliamentary elections to be held on 12 June 2021, following the decision by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in February 2021 to dissolve the People's National Assembly. These elections constitute the third stage in the course of political transformations experienced by Algeria in the past year, after the election of the country’s President and the ratification of the country’s new constitution.
On 9 April 2021, Tunisian President Kais Saied began a three-day official visit to Egypt, his first since he took office in October 2019. During the visit, he met, alongside his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a number of Egyptian officials and Islamic and Christian spiritual leaders. The visit came within a changing regional and internal context for Egypt and Tunisia alike.
On 22 May 2021, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Libya Jan Kubis warned the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that progress on the main issue of withdrawing mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya had stalled, and that their continued presence posed a threat not only to Libya, but to the entire African region. This warning brought back to the fore the dilemma of mercenaries in Libya, after months of optimism in the wake of the political agreement that ended years of war, and stipulated in one of its clauses the need for all foreign forces to leave the country within 90 days. This paper sheds light on the issue of mercenaries in Libya, first by defining the map of foreign irregular armed forces in the country, and secondly by analysing the political and security repercussions of the presence of those mercenaries, both at the internal and regional levels, as well as trying to anticipate future paths for the development of this dilemma.
On 23 April 2021, during a speech before the Italian House of Representatives, Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush announced that her country has contacted several countries to negotiate the removal of foreign fighters, which brought back to the forefront the discussion about the fate of those foreign fighters, how their countries of origin would deal with them, and the risks of their return, given that this return constitutes an increasing threat after it has been proved that some of those involved in terrorist acts in many countries are in fact returnee foreign fighters.
Tunisia was one of the countries included in this discussion, given that Tunisians account for a significant portion of the foreign fighters in Libya, as well as in Syria, considering that a large part of the Tunisian fighters currently in Libya have been active in the Syrian arena between 2012 and 2018.
This paper attempts to analyse the development of the phenomenon of Tunisian fighters returning from hotbeds of tension, its extent, and its implications, while examining the contexts of this return and its various impacts and challenges, internally and externally, and shedding light on the Tunisian government policies in dealing with the phenomenon of returning fighters and assessing its results.
A lot of controversy has been raised about a letter that was sent by some retired Tunisian officers to Tunisian President Kais Saied on 28 May 2021, between those who considered it a manifestation of the military establishment’s desire to intervene in the stifling political crisis in the country, and those who considered it one of the tactics of the Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement in the context of managing the crisis of its relationship with the President of the Republic and its break with the active political and civil actors.
The differences that began more than a year ago between Tunisian President Kais Saied and the Islamic Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement – which has the parliamentary majority – escalated, to turn into an open struggle between the two sides and a media clash with statements, in the light of a multidimensional crisis that the country is going through at all political and economic levels, which was deepened by the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. This paper seeks to analyse the nature of this struggle between the two sides by monitoring its indicators, revealing its causes and roots, and trying to anticipate the possible paths for its development in the future.
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