Presidential decree on safety of production sites published in Official Gazette
09/07/2017 14:49, Tunis/Tunisia

(TAP) – Presidential decree n ° 90 of the year 2017 announcing production sites and sensitive and vital installations, prohibited military zones was published in the last issue of the Official Gazette of the Republic of Tunisia, of July 3.

This decision was taken following the meeting of the National Security Council late June.

According to the provisions of Article 1 of the Decree, sensitive and vital production sites and installations, as well as surrounding areas, are declared prohibited military zones throughout the installation of military units in order to secure them, from the promulgation of this Presidential Decree until the end of the causes that justify it.

The production sites and sensitive and vital installations declared to be prohibited military zones, as well as its contact details, shall be determined by order of the Minister of National Defence and the Minister concerned, after obtaining the opinion of the National Security Council.

The list of prohibited military zones shall be updated, whenever necessary, according to the same declaration procedure, in the text of the decree.

It states that access to production sites and sensitive and vital facilities declared prohibited military areas is prohibited except for executives, agents and users.

By virtue of this presidential decree of some ten articles, military units in charge of protecting and securing prohibited military zones are entitled to use all the means of force in possession to deal with any aggression or attack targeting persons or facilities, including acts of sabotage and attempts to enter by force.

"Any person in the vicinity of the Prohibited Military Zones should comply with the orders which are given to him in order to stop or submit to search whenever sent to him by members of the military units required to insure the said zones and which are empowered to oblige the person to stop or submit to search in case of disobedience ", stipulates the decree.

In a speech addressed to the Tunisian people on 10 May, President Béji Caïd Essebsi said that "the National Army will intervene, if necessary, to protect the institutions and production sites which are the priority of all Tunisians ".

This decision, he added, "comes after consultation between the members of the National Security Council".

Article 80 of the Tunisian Constitution provides that "in the event of imminent danger threatening the institutions of the nation and the security and independence of the country and impeding the proper functioning of the public authorities, the President of the Republic may take measures necessitated by this exceptional situation after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House of People's Representatives and after informing the president of the Constitutional Court."

In recent years, Tunisia has recorded losses estimated at 5 billion dinars in the phosphates sector, one of the country's most important natural resources, due to the protests that hampered mining and processing.

According to the Gafsa Phosphates Company (CPG) figures, commercial phosphate production has not exceeded 40% of the CPG's production capacity since 2010.

Until 2010, the average annual production of commercial phosphate was about 8 million tonnes. In 2016, commercial phosphate production last year was of 3 million 200 thousand tonnes.

In Tataouine, hundreds of young people staged, for weeks (from April 23 to June 16), a sit-in near the El Kamour oil field claiming jobs in oil companies.

On May 21, the protesters tried to invade the oil pumping station in the Tataouine Sahara and to stop the station's electric generator.

On June 16, an agreement was signed between el-Kamour protestors and the government, allowing the sit-in to be lifted and the oil production sites to be restarted.

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