21 November 2013 4:27 pm | | 0


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Man Waving Ansar al-Sharia flag, 2013. Photo courtesy: Ansar al-Sharia Tunisia Facebook page

Man Waving Ansar al-Sharia flag, 2013. Photo courtesy: Ansar al-Sharia Tunisia Facebook page

A member of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) yesterday raised the idea of forming a committee to establish dialogue with the banned religious group Ansar al-Sharia.

Abderraouf Ayadi, president of the Wafa Movement party, spoke at yesterday’s NCA plenary session, during which two government ministers were questioned about allegations of torture and abuse at the hands of security forces. He questioned why a committee had not been formed by the NCA to reach out to the Sheikhs of the Ansar al-Sharia movement and see if they are willing to engage in dialogue.

Ansar al-Sharia was officially banned in May following clashes between the police and its supporters in a suburb of Tunis that resulted in one death.The dispute between the organization and the government started when it tried to hold its annual congress in the city of Kairouan without filing for an official permit.

Ayadi said that dialogue should take place so that “the blood of the sons of our country will not be shed, be it of a security officer or of a Salafist.”

The Ansar al-Sharia movement was classified as a “terrorist organization” by the government in August.

The Ministry of Interior believes the organization is involved in the assassinations of opposition politicians Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi.

The government also claims there are links between Ansar al-Sharia, landmine explosions on Mount Chaamb, and clashes between gunmen and security forces.

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