Tunisia’s Diplomatic Corp staged a sit-in outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, with consular staff throughout the world wearing red armbands in support of the protest.
The protest was called by the executive board of Le Syndicat du Corps Diplomatique (SCD) Diplomatic Corps’ Union after they and representatives of the diplomatic administration failed to reach an agreement on conditions within the service.
In a statement released to all media, an SCD spokesperson blamed the industrial action upon the administration’s “laxism,” or reluctance to adopt significant reform. Commenting further, the spokesperson also criticized “the marginalization of gifted diplomats and the deliberate delay in the announcement of the results for the national, (entrance) results”.
The SDC also criticized a number of shortfalls within the administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ administration, accusing the Ministry of “nepotism” in its post-revolutionary recruitment and promotions. They also claimed that the Ministry had “deliberately overlooked financial and administrative corruption” and were critical of the expected austerity measures that will likely involve dramatic cuts to the country’s diplomatic service. Lastly, the SDC have demanded that the current limit for foreign postings be limited to four years.
Neither the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Le Syndicat du Corps Diplomatique could be reached for comment on this latest dispute.
Rahma is preparing a master thesis in Anglo-American studies. She is interested in politics and foreign affairs. Since the outbreak of the Tunisian revolution, she volunteered for several Tunisian associations such as ATIDE, Sawty and others. She writes articles about post-revolution Tunisia.