Human Rights

Tunisia Draws Up Plan To Rehabilitate Returning Extremists And Militants

North Africa

Tunisia - Ministry of Justice draws up a plan to rehabilitate and reintegrate ISIS militants, returning from Iraq and Syria, back into society.

The Tunisian Ministry of Justice has drawn up a plan to rehabilitate returning extremists and reintegrate them back into society, as part of a plan to control the in-flow of Tunisian militants who previously fought in Syria and Iraq with ISIS and other militant groups.

While many countries are struggling with the issue of returning jihadists, countries in North Africa, like Tunisia and Morocco, are attempting to reduce the burden on Iraq and Syria by allowing the return of militant nationals. These individuals may undergo legal procedures but are rehabilitated, supervised and then eventually allowed to return to their communities.

According to Kamal al-Akrouti, the National Security Advisor to the President of the Republic of Tunisia, this is the best way to deal with these returnees to eradicate terrorism and extremism within the country.

“Tunisia is not waiting for their return to act,” said al-Akrouti. “We are working on a plan to rehabilitate those recruits and prisoners, and there is a robust program developed by Tunisian experts from various ideological and psychological fields.”

During the session in which this issue was discussed, Tunisian lawmakers agreed that a comprehensive plan to deal with these individuals is the best way to deal with extremism, as it does not merely respond to the influx of extremists, but it also targets the roots of extremism and radicalisation in the country.

This mixture of soft and hard power approaches to dealing with the issue of extremism has been pushed by Morocco and Tunisia, as they see it as the best way to combat the ideological war with ISIS and other extremist groups.

“Today, peaceful coexistence with each other is the most important basis for combating extremism and terrorism,” said Samah al-Yahyawi, an expert in the Tunisian Ministry of Education. ”This is what our program has focused on.”

Public opinion has been very divisive regarding the return of individuals affiliated with ISIS. Some Tunisians have welcomed this decision and are urging the government to return over 200 women and children affiliated with ISIS being held in Libya, Syria and Iraq. Others, however, say that the return of these individuals will create a massive security threat to the country and putting the citizens at risk.

While this debate has been occurring in many parts of the world were citizens left to join ISIS and other militant groups, many specialists agree that the mixture of soft and hard power to counter extremism and rehabilitate militants is the best way to treat this problem at this given time.