Five years ago this month, the Tunisian people’s protests calling for respect of their civil liberties resulted in the downfall of the 24-year authoritarian regime of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and the start of a rocky but largely peaceful process toward an inclusive political system. The U.S. Institute of Peace and the International Republican Institute commemorated the 5th Anniversary of the Jasmine Revolution and examined the issues facing the country in the coming year and how the international community can help.

TJR
Photo Courtesy of WikiCommons

Tunisia is confronting the regional rise of violent extremism that has led to terrorist attacks in its own country, spotlighting the struggle to balance security and human rights. Its frail economy remains a danger to social peace, with unemployment even higher than when the Jasmine Revolution began. Many of Tunisia's youth are especially vulnerable to these factors.

The panelists considered these issues as well as specific decisions coming up in 2016, including the political situation, decentralization and economic reform.

Watch video remarks by Congressman David Schweikert, Co-Chair of the House Tunisia Caucus. 

Panelists

Ambassador Faycal Gouia 
Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia

Scott Mastic 
International Republican Institute

Amy Hawthorne
Project on Middle East Democracy

Linda Bishai, Moderator
U.S. Institute of Peace

Joyce Kasee-Mills
U.S. Institute of Peace

Ambassador William B. Taylor, Opening Remarks
U.S. Institute of Peace

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