In recent years, Tunisia has grappled with the dual challenges of counterterrorism and civil unrest, leading to the recurrent extension of the State of Emergency (SoE). While the primary objective of this measure is to enhance counterterrorism efforts, a deeper analysis reveals its correlation with the severity of civil unrest within the country.

Understanding the Origin

The genesis of the State of Emergency dates back to 2015 when Tunisia faced a wave of major terrorist attacks. This pivotal moment prompted authorities to implement measures aimed at safeguarding national security. The lingering concern revolves around Tunisian nationals potentially traveling to conflict regions, particularly neighboring Libya, to join militant groups. The fear is that they might undergo training and subsequently launch attacks within Tunisia.

The Influence of Socio-Economic Deterioration

Beyond the immediate counterterrorism focus, the socio-economic context in Tunisia has witnessed a troubling decline, creating a breeding ground for anti-government sentiments. This deterioration has significantly elevated the risk of protests, prompting authorities to deploy the State of Emergency as a tool to curb dissent. The measure provides authorities with heightened powers and flexibility to suppress demonstrations that pose a threat to public order.

Implications for Expats and Travelers

For expatriates and travelers in Tunisia, the recurrent extension of the State of Emergency carries profound implications. Firstly, the increased risk of anti-government protests introduces an element of unpredictability to the socio-political landscape. Travelers may find themselves inadvertently caught up in civil unrest, necessitating heightened vigilance and awareness of local developments.

Moreover, the expanded powers granted to authorities under the State of Emergency could result in stricter enforcement measures, impacting the daily lives of expats and travelers alike. Security forces may exercise greater discretion in maintaining public order, potentially affecting freedom of movement and assembly.

Areas of Concern

Certain regions, such as the mountainous areas of Kasserine and Kef governorates, witness occasional low-level militant attacks targeting security forces. Travelers should exercise caution and stay informed about the security situation, particularly if planning to explore these areas.


In conclusion, the State of Emergency in Tunisia, while rooted in counterterrorism efforts, intertwines with the socio-economic landscape, influencing its regular extension. Expats and travelers must be cognizant of the evolving situation, balancing their desire for exploration with the imperative of staying abreast of local developments. As Tunisia grapples with multifaceted challenges, the implications of the State of Emergency extend beyond national security, shaping the experience of those who choose to call this North African nation home or explore its diverse landscapes.