What’s Happening in Tunisia?
On April 1, 2016, the US Department of State issued a travel warning for Tunisia due to the threat of terrorism, advising against all travel to the southeastern part of the country along the Libyan border — in March 2015, clashes in the border town of Ben Guerdane left 12 Tunisian security officials and citizens dead — as well as the western mountainous areas. The US State Department also warns against travel to central Tunisia and the areas bordering Algeria.
Terrorists have targeted both Tunisian governmental entities as well as tourists, including attacks on the Bardo National Museum in Tunis and two beach resorts near Sousse in 2015. On November 24, 2015, a bus transporting presidential personnel was attacked by a suicide bomber, prompting President Beji Caid Essebsi to declare a state of emergency which has been extended to June 22, 2016; this grants the government broad authority to maintain civil order as well as, according to the Minister of the Interior, secure hotels and other tourist areas.
What Does This Mean for Travelers?
If you’re planning to travel to Tunisia, make sure to check your government’s travel advisories. US citizens can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive safety updates in specific countries and allow the US Embassy, as well as family and friends, to contact them in emergency situations.
Exercise caution when traveling throughout Tunisia, avoiding highly trafficked venues, especially tourist sites, rallies and demonstrations. Kidnappings have occurred throughout Tunisia; stay alert to your surrounding and vigilant in your personal security practices. Monitor local news and events, and follow the instructions of uniformed authorities. Be sure to carry a working communication device, such as a cell phone, as well as a copy of your passport on your person at all times.
— Viator Travel Team