Higher Security Council Focuses On Steps Taken to Contain Election Risks, Secure Borders

The Higher Security Council focused, as it met Friday in Carthage, on the steps taken to contain election risks and secure borders besides, it looked at the general security situation.

Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou said the meeting also discussed the state of affairs in Libya and its impact on Tunisia as regards the infiltration of takfiris and weapon smuggling via the border which requires the strengthening of buffer zones.

Terrorist threats still persist, the minister highlighted they target the electoral process, particularly in the border area with Algeria (governorates of Kef, Jendouba and Kasserine). He spoke, in this connection, of a coherent security fabric in these regions.

A unified command (army – national guard- police) was set up in these border regions for a better response to terrorist threats and on-the-spot real-time decision making, he underscored.

Joint special forces (army- national guard- police) were deployed in a first stage in Kasserine pending a similar move in other risk areas, Ben Jeddou pointed out.

The minister reminded of the “serious” terrorist attacks thwarted by security forces and added that a significant amount of weapons were seized, including RPG rockets and explosives.

In this respect, he cited the example of “Sidi Bouzid” terrorist cell thirty takfiris among its membership were apprehended on the basis of “irrefutable evidence,” he stated.

“By having recourse to such anticipatory acts of force, we want to make sure elections are held under the best conditions,” Ben Jeddou stressed.

“Everything is ready to ensure secure elections, including an appropriate security fabric, unified commands and joint specialised units taking action immediately,” the minister highlighted.

The Interior Ministry is endeavouring to coordinate with the Independent Higher Authority for Elections through the four committees set up at the ministry and tasked with intelligence, logistical support, the security of election premises and regional authorities and the secure routing of ballot boxes to and from polling stations.

The Higher Security Council meeting was attended by Caretaker President Moncef Marzouki, President of the National Constituent Assembly Mustapha Ben Jaafar, interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, the Interior and Defence Ministers and senior security and military officials.

Source : Tunis Afrique Presse

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