Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has declared a state of emergency after the recent attack on a beach hotel that killed 38 foreigners, saying that “the continued threat” the country faced left the country in “a state of war”.
Last week’s attack, three months after a deadly assault on the Bardo museum in Tunis, has shocked the North African country trying to emerge into a democracy after a 2011 revolution.
Tunisia’s emergency laws temporarily give the government more executive flexibility, hand the army and police more authority, and restrict certain rights such as those dealing with public assembly and detention.
“Due to the terrorism risk, and the regional context, and spread of terrorism, we have declared a state of emergency,” Essebsi said in a televised address.
“The continued threat we face leaves the country in a state of war, where we have to use all measures necessary.”
An earlier state of emergency was lifted in March 2014, having been in force since longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in a 2011 revolution.
The development came as several Tunisian officials, including the governor of Sousse, were sacked after the massacre, an aide to the premier said on Saturday.
“Just as there have been security failures, there have also been political failures,” the prime minister’s communications adviser Dhafer Neji told the AFP news agency.