Leading human rights organization Amnesty International said that Tunisia’s presidential decree-law threatens Tunisians' freedom to discuss and challenge its leaders about the ongoing food shortages in Tunisia.
Images of Tunisians queuing for bread outside bakeries and empty shop shelves where flour, rice and vegetable oil should be have flooded the press and social
The daily news is rife with scenes of police raiding storehouses full of sacks of flour and semolina and other food and domestic products. The Ministry of Commerce’s Facebook page is a catalog of police raids on wa
The Syndical Chamber of Wholesalers published a statement complaining about the armed police raids and arrests. Yassine Zine Abbedine Acheh, vice president of the Chamber of Wholesalers, told Al
Amnesty International is concerned that Saied’s decree-law could be a tool to suppress any public debate or news reporting about food shortages that does not agree with the
Deputy regional director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International Amna Guellali said in that statement that “Tunisia is already suffering a long-standing economic and financial crisis. It is more important than ever that people in the country be free to discuss and debate the issues that affect them, including food security and goods supplies, without fear of prosecutions.”
The global supply chain has been under increased pressure since the coronavirus pandemic began
“There is no speculation, just food shortages,” said Houssem Saad of ALERT, an association that campaigns to end Tunisia’s rent economy through research and education. “Tunisia has always been a
These companies have influence over how much grain is bought by the Office of Cereals. However, government spending power has been diminishing, which has caused cash flow problems and resulted in ruptures in the supply chain. Food shortages happen regularly in Tunisia but do not usually involve quite so many essential food products, as has been the case since
Guellali said in the same
The new decree-law is the latest in a string of blows to human rights since Saied suspended parliament last July and began concentrating power in the executive branch.” Tunisia has also seen a diminishing public press, arrests of journalists and the closing of TV channels since July 25.
William Lawrence, professor of political science at the American University in Washington, DC, who has worked on North Africa with the Crisis Group, told Al-Monitor, “Kais Saied has clearly taken a page out of the Algerian playbook (referring to the 1988 Algerian economic crisis and food and water shortages)
Lawrence warns that this tactic is self-defeating. “It will not help him get the IMF loan if he is attacking small businesses and is on anti-business witch hunts, and it will only worsen an increasingly dire economic situation.
Ukraine supplies the bulk of Tunisia’s wheat, and although Tunisia has secured enough grain to limp through the coming few months, it seems likely that another crisis may be on the horizon.