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Tuesday 15 June 2021
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Tunisia: Interior Ministry to have more personnel (+5,500 in 2016), more equipment (armored vehicles and aircraft) to combat terrorism

With more success and certainly more waste in this success, Tunisia has already been engaged in the fight against religious terrorism since 1980. With the rise of this phenomenon after the Revolution, the fight has intensified but with human and logistical means significantly lower than believed even by the opponents of the old regime.

The year 2015 having seen two attacks (Bardo and Sousse that hit the heart of the Tunisian economy, namely the tourism sector), which dealt a heavy blow to an already shaky Tunisian economy, it was necessary to think of better ways to equip the department with means of the state policy and tools of the counter-terrorism strategy.

Thus, the budget of the Tunisian Ministry of Interior should increase by some 200 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) in 2016. They are the management expenses that will have the lion’s share in the draft budget 2016.

They will be 2.4 billion TD, up 9.4% on a total budget of 2.897 billion TD. Yet, it must be remembered that the Interior Ministry is primarily a ministry of human resources. Certainly, like the entire state budget, capital expenditures will be significantly lower. In 2016, the Interior Ministry will only invest 0.383 billion TD, down 0.4% compared to 2015. However, much of this investment will go into logistics.

Half the Interior Ministry’s budget will go to wages (1.778 billion TD, up 12.46%). 80 MTD will go to salary increases, 18 MTD to the financial impact of hires after training, 13 MTD to new hires in 2016, 12 MTD for the regularization of previous situations, 14 MTD for the premium called danger, in particular.

In the draft budget, the Interior Ministry that represents the first line of defense against terrorism in Tunisia and whose National Guard units constitute the spearhead in the fight against this scourge plans to be equipped with more logistical means and expand its human resources.

The Interior Ministry, with all its bodies, has 98,879 executives, senior officers and employees. The two essential bodies are, first those of the security forces (51,095 people) and those of the National Guard (30,022 people). The rest are educators, teachers of secondary and vocational education, doctors, computer technicians and a lot of other specialties that make this public multidisciplinary service.

Mindful of the development of society, its crime and tools, particularly technological, now in the hands of this crime and finally aware of the need to deal with them more efficiently, the Interior Ministry wants, however, to strengthen its human capacities, reflected this in its 2016 draft budget.

Thus, 3140 new personnel should be recruited in the various law enforcement bodies and 2100 others for the units of the National Guard (GN). The department will also increase its communications budget (5.5 MTD in 2016 against 0.8 MTD in 2015), an essential tool in wartime.

It will also increase its catering budget by 2 MTD (24 against 22 MTD), to be able to feed all its forces wherever they are.

In the capital budget, the Interior Ministry has provided 62.8 MTD that should be dedicated to the purchase of armored vehicles, aircraft and communication equipment for security forces, “to ensure more efficiency to interventions to maintain peace and stability in the country,” reads the budget document.

The Interior Ministry will also provide 93 MTD in support to municipalities, while 10 MTD will be devoted to strengthening the security presence on borders, through the creation of new barracks and new positions for the National Guard.

10 more MTD will be spent on bringing the police closer to citizens, through the creation of new police stations.

Moreover, 300 thousand TD will be spent on salaries of the minister, his secretaries of state and all members of the cabinet, which is a pittance compared, for example, to the salary of an MP let alone business leaders, for whom the security provided by the ministry is more than vital.

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