US to double military aid to Tunisia

13 April 2015

Growing instability on Tunisia’s border threatens domestic security

  • US will double military aid to Tunisia
  • US military assistance to Tunisia in 2011 was worth $32m
  • The decision follows the attack on the Bardo Museum, which killed foreign tourists, and growing violence across the Libyan border

The US Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the US plans to double its military aid to Tunisia, at a press conference in Tunis on 10 April.

The aid will include equipment, arms, technical help and exchange of information.

He also said the US wanted to increase the levels investment and trade between Tunisia and the US.

US military assistance to Tunisia in 2011 was worth roughly $32m, almost double the amount to immediately before the revolution, according to the US Embassy in Tunis.

Recently unfrozen US military aid to Egypt is worth about $1.5bn a year.

US military equipment makes up approximately 70 per cent of Tunisia’s military inventory.

The US has provided more than $890m of grant military financing and excess military equipment to Tunisia since its independence in 1956, as well as sales worth over $780m and military financing of more than $660m.

The Tunisian military is struggling to secure its border with wartorn Libya, combat jihadists around Chaambi mountain on the Algerian border and deal with domestic extremism. The attack on the Bardo Museum on 19 March killed 22, the majority foreign tourists.

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