News Release

Tunisian Academic: “Will Not Recognize This Band of Thugs”


Noureddine JebnounNOUREDDINE JEBNOUN, [beginning Tues. 2:00 pm ET] Available for a very limited number of interviews with major media outlets, Jebnoun is visiting assistant professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He said today: “Today, in Tunisia, a new government has been announced and mainly led by the same old guard of criminals from the Constitutional Democratic Rally, which is neither ‘constitutional’ nor ‘democratic’ but an aggregation of thugs and criminals that Tunisian people, who sacrificed themselves for freedom and dignity, must place under trial. I will not recognize this government and I do not consider this government representative of the genuine aspirations of the heroic Tunisian people. Our people who were killed by the snipers of the praetorian Presidential Guard as well as by mercenaries hired by [ousted dictator/President] Ben Ali from Belarus and Serbia deserve better compensation than being represented by this mediocre political class; which in reality has neither legitimacy nor credibility.

“Therefore, I will not recognize this black comedy and I am certain that Tunisian people will make as much pressure as they can on this band of thugs to leave by denouncing them internationally and by explaining to the people around the world that this criminal band is trying to upgrade itself by offering the same faces with the same pseudo-constitution which consecrated the presidency for life under [previous dictatorial President] Bourguiba and then the police and mafia state under Ben Ali’s reign.

“What Tunisian people want and need is a parliamentary system which means a new constitution that holds the Prime Minister responsible before the government of the people and with a President who does not have major prerogatives except within the domain of sovereignty such as foreign affairs and national defense. We are inheriting sclerotic and heavy security apparatuses with more than 180,000 policemen and small but very efficient, patriotic and professional armed forces that does not exceed 45,000 military personnel. Here, the major stake is to reduce the number of security forces to a small fraction of its current size by implementing the so-called ‘reformed security sector’ as it happened in South Africa after the collapse of the Apartheid system. Imagine that a country like Tunisia, which under the fallen dictatorship, has a number of security forces greater than the number of police in Great Britain, yet has a population six times less than the British population. Furthermore, Tunisians who severely suffered from almost 60 years of dictatorship want to see the rule of law, transparency, good governance, accountability, and an independent judiciary the rule, rather than the exception.

“Hopefully this ‘Jasmin Revolution’ will have a domino effect and it will inspire other people in the region especially Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, and Syria, and why not Jordan or Saudi Arabia, who are suffering under the control of authoritarian, retrograded and backward regimes. I believe it is time for those Arab Pinochets to crawl back into their holes and to let us, as a mature people, decide our own destiny.”

Jebnoun is former assistant professor at the Tunisian War College, the Tunisian Command and General Staff College and the Tunisian National Defense Institute where he taught courses on “strategy” and “geopolitics.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167