Ousted Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Brahem planned a coup d’état in coordination with the UAE intelligence services, Le Monde Afrique revealed yesterday.
The article by the editor Nicolas Beau, revealed that Brahem “made a mistake by betting on his new Emirati friends that he will become the first player in Tunisia thanks to their support.”
Beau said in his article that it is absurd to think that the sinking of migrants’ ship off the Tunisian Qirqneh island coast was behind Brahem’s dismissal.
Beau also revealed that Western diplomatic sources confirmed to him that a secret meeting was held in the city of Djerba between Brahem and a UAE intelligence director after Libyan parties met in Paris on 29 May.
According to Beau, the secret meeting between the former minister and the UAE intelligence official revolved around “setting a road map to set the atmosphere for the removal of Youssef Chahed and the appointment of Kamel Morjane, the minister of defence in the former government of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, as a prime minister.”
Last week, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed fired Barhem and appointed the Minister of Justice Ghazi Al-Jeribi as acting interior minister.
The dismissal came four days after a boat carrying illegal immigrants sank off the Tunisian coast killing 84 people, according to official statements.
“His dubious moves made him questionable and resulted in the quick move of the Prime Minister Youssef Chahed who dismissed him after consulting President Beji Caid Essebsi, who appointed him nine months ago,” Beau explained.
Brahem’s visit to Saudi Arabia on 25 February, which lasted for several days, triggered controversy in Tunisia especially because he met many senior Saudi officials and then returned in a private Saudi jet, according to media sources.