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The Tunisian Military: An Honorable Institution with Revenge in Mind

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[By Arezki Daoud | daoud@north-africa.com | 508-981-6937 | Twitter: @northafrica] The Tunisian defense forces acted honorably as their country faced a major political crisis. By deciding not to intervene, General Rachid Ammar and his men and women in uniform showed unparallel professionalism that most Arab countries’ military lack. By doing so, they accelerated the demise of the dictator, responding to the wishes of the Tunisian people. But were the armed forces simply and squarely abiding by their constitutional duties or were they motivated by a sense of payback and revenge against Ben Ali? Information from Tunis suggests that military role was motivated by a little bit of both.

Find us on twitterAn analysis by France’s AFP provides indications as why the Tunisian army did not prevent the ousting of the tyrannical Ben Ali. AFP says in December 2007 and January 2008, the Ben Ali regime forced the military against its will to neutralize a small group of alleged Salafists in the town of Soliman. The young men targeted by Ben Ali were neither armed nor trained for combat of any sort, and could have been arrested by the police instead, a security force estimated at 150,000. The event was largely seen by high ranking military officers as a slap in the face and dishonorable, essentially in an effort meant to discredit them. Continue here | Not a subscriber? follow this link | Join our mailing list.

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