Kamel Morjane is a Tunisian politician, who most recently served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs under the government of Tunisia’s deposed president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. The statesman resigned from this post, however, on January 27th, 2011.
Morjane was born in Hammam Sousse, Tunisia — coincidentally the same birthplace as the former president Ben Ali — on May 9th, 1948. He received his BA in Law from the University of Tunis, before studying International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He also earned various diplomas and certificates from the University of Wisconsin (USA) and the Hague Academy of International Law.
In 1979, Morjane married Dorra Ben Ali Bouraoui, a cousin of the former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Together, they have two children.
From 1977-1996, Morjane worked for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), where he first served as Director for North Africa and the Middle East, and later as Director for Africa. In October of 1996, he was installed as Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva. From 1999-2001, he worked as the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Congo (DRC), and afterward was appointed Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees.
During the presidency of Ben Ali, Morjane served both as Defense Minister of Tunisia (2005-2010) and Minister of Foreign Affairs, beginning in January of 2010. After the ousting of Ben Ali in the January 14th revolution in 2011, Morjane was reappointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in the “Unity Government” led by Mohamed Ghannouchi. However, Tunisians continued to protest over the formation of a new government which included figures from the former RCD Party (the ruling party of Ben Ali), and Morjane resigned from the coalition government on January 27th, 2011, in an effort to appease the sustained protesters.
One week prior to his resignation from his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Morjane quit both the Central Committee of the RCD party, as well as the party itself. He created a new political party, called “Al Moubadara” (The Initiative), in April 2011, which defines itself as centrist, with the goal to, “defend the Arab-Muslim identity of Tunisia, while opening to other civilizations.” The party also has prioritized private investment.
More recently, Morjane –along with nine other RCD officials — was accused by the Group of 25 Lawyers of misappropriation of public funds and of abuse of power. He appeared before the Tunis Court of First Instance, on April 21, 2011, but the judge ordered his release upon completion of the investigation. Morjane was, however, prohibited from leaving the country, and when he attempted to appeal this travel ban on August 24th, his request was denied.