When Tunisia became independent in 1956, France retained the rights to its naval base at the northern port city of Bizerte, controlling the city as well as the base. President Habib Bourguiba saw it as a remnant of colonial rule, one which France also used in fighting against the Algerian struggle for independence. In July of 1961, Tunisia declared a blockade of the city and ordered the French not to violate Tunisian air space. When a French helicopter did so, it was fired upon. French paratroops were sent in, and fighting erupted. By the time a ceasefire was declared, 630 Tunisians and 24 French were dead, and many wounded.
The result of the three days of fighting were negotiations that led to the final withdrawal of French troops on October 15, 1963. The videos below show the aftermath of the 1961 fighting.
"Michael Collins Dunn is the editor of The Middle East Journal. He also blogs. His latest posting summarizes a lot of material on the Iranian election and offers some sensible interpretation. If you are really interested in the Middle East, you should check him out regularly." — Gary Sick, Gary's Choices
"Since we’re not covering the Tunisian elections particularly well, and neither does Tunisian media, I’ll just point you over here. It’s a great post by MEI editor Michael Collins Dunn, who . . . clearly knows the country pretty well." — alle, Maghreb Politics Review
"I’ve followed Michael Collins Dunn over at the Middle East Institute’s blog since its beginning in January this year. Overall, it is one of the best blogs on Middle Eastern affairs. It is a selection of educated and manifestly knowledgeable ruminations of various aspects of Middle Eastern politics and international relations in the broadest sense." — davidroberts at The Gulf Blog
"Michael Collins Dunn, editor of the prestigious Middle East Journal, wrote an interesting 'Backgrounder' on the Berriane violence at his Middle East Institute Editor’s Blog. It is a strong piece, but imperfect (as all things are) . . ." — kal, The Moor Next Door This great video of Nasser posted on Michael Collins Dunn’s blog (which is one of my favorites incidentally) ... — Qifa Nabki