The Ministry of the Interior announced that curfew in effect throughout Tunisia would be pushed back by two hours, and now apply only from midnight to 5 a.m. The move coming ahead of the weekend will be well received by businesses such as restaurants reliant on nightlife and by retailers as this weekend marks the beginning of the winter sales season.
Although many more ‘active’ nightlife denizens wished it would be removed altogether.
It is the second time the curfew has been eased after it was put in effect on Friday, January 22, following a peak in violence which began as clashes between protesters and police but also included incidences of looting separate from the protests throughout the week.
Last Saturday, January 23 Minister of the Interior Hedi Majdoub had stated that the curfew would remain in effect indefinitely “until the security conditions improve” through Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP).
The Ministry of the Interior reminded Tunisians that the curfew although the does not apply to night workers or in emergencies all others caught in the streets after midnight would be arrested.
Although there have been several localized curfews in Tunisia in recent years, the current curfew is the first to be applied nationwide since the 2011 Tunisian Revolution.
A limited curfew had been declared immediately after the November 24, 2015, suicide bombing in central Tunis which killed twelve members of Tunisia’s Presidential Guard on November 24. That curfew applied to the greater Tunis region (Tunis and the surrounding governorates of Ariana, Manouba and Ben Arous) and remained in effect for nearly three weeks after being extended several times.
A thirty day state of emergency was also declared after the November attack which was claimed by Islamic State affiliated Jund al Khilafa. The state of emergency was subsequently extended for a further sixty days and remains in effect.