Tension in Tunisia after fourth consecutive night of conflict

Tensions remain high in Tunisia after a fourth night of conflict, despite the anti-coronavirus curfew and President Cas Syed’s intervention, social unrest coupled with some unofficial calls to protest against poverty on Tuesday.


The curfew was brought forward from October 8 at 8 pm, with Thursday and Sunday at 4 pm and imprisonment since October to try to stop the epidemic.

The next day of the tenth anniversary of the departure of Xin el Abidin Ben Ali, who was ousted from power by the mob on 14 January 2011, unrest spread in many areas and continued from Monday to Tuesday night.

In Tunis, a few hundred young people threw stones and some Molotov cocktails were stationed in many popular areas with police officers, including the vast city of Etadhaman. The police released large amounts of tear gas.

An AFP correspondent said that protesters in the country’s second largest city of Sfax cut roads by burning tires.

Another reporter said that there was also a clash in Gafsa, where people were protesting the destruction by officials of the informal outlet.

According to local media, there were clashes in Ces or Monastir (center-east), especially in Keough, Beserte (north) and Kasserine (center-west).

These protests, marked as the anniversary of several social conflicts, were re-organized in January, making clear political demands and prohibiting looting.

The Interior Ministry announced 632 arrests on Monday and the military was deployed to protect some public buildings.

“right to work”

“There is denial and underestimation of anger among young people, especially because eleven successive governments (after the fall of Ben Ali) did not have a strategy to answer the central question of employment,” said Olama Lamaloum, director of the NGO International Alert in Tunisia , Which works in the most marginal areas of the country.

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According to a study by an NGO conducted in 2019, before imprisonment, youth unemployment reached 43% in central Tunisia’s frontier city of Kaiserin, compared to one in five youth arrested or jailed last year. . .

“As long as there is a complete security response, with mass arrests, and no social or political backlash, the tension will remain high,” Ms Lamaloum said.

Very divided Tunisian leaders have been very quiet in recent times while many commentators and political representatives have called the protesters “criminals”.

Only President Cass Syed, widely elected with the support of young people in 2019, went to Ettadamen on Monday.

He called for not attacking people or property in his defense, “for the right to work, freedom and dignity”, using the slogans of the 2011 revolution.

“Do not attack or insult anyone, and do not harm personal property or state institutions” because “anarchy” does not allow progress, she continued, warning against them an attempt to vent their anger.

The Tunisian Workers’ General Union recalled the disturbances of the constitution, stating that the right to performance was guaranteed.

But currently gatherings are banned due to fluctuations in Kovid-19 cases.

In a demonstration gathered in Tunis on Monday, a few dozen people demonstrated against poverty, corruption and “police repression”. It was chased by the police and a worker was arrested.

Some calls to mobiles were launched by Internet users on Tuesday, without being relayed by the organizations.

These tensions come as the government, formed with difficulty in September, and a massive reshuffle on Saturday, awaiting a new vote of confidence.

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Political instability and lack of economic prospects, coupled with a historic drop in GDP of 9% announced for 2021, led to an increase in illegal departures in Europe, where Tunisians are now seizing on the main nationality of Italian Costa.

(AFP)

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