For the first time in the country’s history, the Tunisian government has asked the army to protect oil and gas sites and other key infrastructures. Advisory firm MEA Risk LLC says the country’s president, Beji Caid Essebsi argued with key officials and publicly that the current social unrest constitutes a major challenge to industrial and economic continuity and must be protected, directing the military to take a proactive role in industrial asset protection.

The disruptions from riots, protests and general social unrest of the past weeks, including the ones in Tatouine are having a negative impact on a number of sites’ operations, prompting the presidential security order.  However, the president himself recognizes that the call for military protection is not trivial and could be a challenge to the country’s efforts to protect rights and freedoms.