Thousands of Tunisians have been reported fighting for the Islamic State group (IS), al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The number of Tunisian terrorists abroad has been estimated at over 3,000, making the North African country the largest foreign fighters’ exporter.
Fears have grown after IS lost its Libyan stronghold of Sirte while the group and al Qaeda are on verge of demise in Syria and Iraq.
A facebook movement calling itself “Collectif des Citoyens Tunisiens” launched, under the theme “No to terrorist legion in Tunisia” a call for national demonstration on January 14 next year to say no the government intention to welcome returning terrorists.
“We, Tunisian citizens reject the irresponsible handling by the state of the return of terrorists that will provoke a trend of violence, destruction and chaos,” the movement said.
Another movement also on facebook called for general mobilization across the country to protest against the return of “those who killed, raped, slaughtered and massacred innocent people”.
For the movement, Tunisia is not home to the terrorists.
“We don’t want to live what our Algerian brothers endured for several years!! Our territory must be protected from fondamentalists, those fanatics !!! ”
The two movements emerged after President Caid Essebsi, in an interview with Euronews, indicated that the Tunisian constitution allows any Tunisian to come back home. He additionally argued that all returnee terrorists would be dealt with on the basis of constitution.
His comments were swiftly bashed. In another interview, he pointed out that he opposes granting clemency to terrorists who fought for IS and al Qaeda.