Following a dangerous and avoidable escalation of an otherwise dormant border dispute, five policemen and a civilian from Assam were killed in the Mizo border town of Vairengte in clashes between police from the State and their counterparts in Mizoram, on Monday. The sequence of events, beginning October 2020, suggests that what began as skirmishes between residents close to the disputed border between Assam’s Cachar and Mizoram’s Kolasib districts has snowballed into a violent confrontation between police and residents. The events point to a failure of the constitutional machinery, empowered to de-escalate tensions at the border. The presence of central paramilitary forces should have helped maintain the peace, but it is curiously not the case. Besides, Assam and Mizoram are governed by the BJP and its ally, the Mizo National Front, respectively, and are part of North-East Democratic Alliance, of which the Assam Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, is a founder-convenor. The political

Tunisian President Kais Saied’s decision to sack the Prime Minister and suspend Parliament, amid widespread anti-government protests, has triggered the worst political crisis in the country since the Arab Spring protests. Among the countries affected by the Arab street protests, Tunisia was the only one that managed to successfully transition from dictatorship to parliamentary democracy. But the North African country’s elected rulers never managed to ease its economic woes, or offer stable governance. Tunisia has had nine governments since 2011, with its crisis-hit economy being battered further by the COVID-19 outbreak — last year, its GDP contracted by 8.8% in real terms. The trigger now is the government’s poor handling of the pandemic. The country of 11.8 million has recorded nearly 18,000 COVID-related deaths so far — one of the highest per capita death rates in the world. Only 7% of the population are fully vaccinated. Last week, the government’s move to speed up vaccination by
 
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