The recent visit to Tunisia by the French foreign minister underscores the growing role Tunisia has as a buffer to the chaos of its neighbor, Libya.
As the administration in Tunisia struggles with the rising ISIL threat that has thrived amidst the instability across the border, Tunisia remains a focal point for terror groups looking to unsettle the fledgling democracy just five years since Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali fled. The attack in Ben Guerdane has been the latest in a line of terror attacks. In 2015, the killings at the Bardo Museum in Tunisia and the massacre in Sousse that killed 38 tourists, including 30 Brits, highlighted the troubling issue.
With an estimated 3,000 Tunisian terrorists within the ISIL ranks, there could be more trouble ahead as these militants return home. France, the old colonial power, has pledged a 1-billion-euro aid package over five years to help Tunisia develop poor regions, stimulate job creation, especially for the youth, but will this be enough to counter the new dangers and could Western intervention actually make Tunisia more of a target?