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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Cradle of the Arab Spring: Tunisia engulfed by unrest

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Aakash Molpariya
Aakash started in Nov 2018 as a writer at Revyuh.com. Since joining, as writer, he is mainly responsible for Software, Science, programming, system administration and the Technology ecosystem, but due to his versatility he is used for everything possible. He writes about topics ranging from AI to hardware to games, stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. He is a trained IT systems engineer and has studied computer science. By the way, he is enthusiastic about his own small projects in game development, hardware-handicraft, digital art, gaming and music. Email: aakash (at) revyuh (dot) com

The authorities have deployed the national army in several provinces to protect government agencies.

For the fourth day, Tunisia is shaken by anti-government protests. Last night, in a number of cities, demonstrators blocked roads, built barricades from burning tires, and clashed with law enforcement officers. They responded with tear gas. To date, almost 900 people are known to have been detained. 

The unrest in the country, which marked the anniversary of the Jasmine Revolution last week, began against the backdrop of a severe socio-economic crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. The authorities have deployed national army units to several Tunisian provinces.

Pandemic protests

Tunisian police detained 877 people who took part in riots in several cities of the country. Tunisian Interior Ministry spokesman Khaled al-Hayouni said that “most of them are minors and also have criminal records.”

The human rights group Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of all those arrested.

“Nothing gives permission for the security forces to deploy unnecessary measures, even if they react to acts of sporadic violence,” said human rights activists.

The unrest comes amid the tenth anniversary of the Tunisian revolution, which ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, due to poverty, widespread unemployment and deteriorating economic conditions.

The revolution in Tunisia marked the beginning of mass unrest in a number of countries in the Middle East in 2011, dubbed the Arab Spring.

The exact cause of today’s riots remains unclear, according to AFP. The agency notes that the clashes occur mainly in the working areas of Tunisian cities.

However, Reuters writes that Tunisians are unhappy with the outcome of the 2011 coup. Although the revolution brought democracy to the country, the standard of living has not improved significantly: residents still suffer from unemployment and poor quality of state resources.

In particular, a third of young people in the country are now out of work, and the economy in 2020, according to the BBC, contracted by nine percent. The tourism industry, which is an important part of Tunisia’s economy, has been hit hardest by the pandemic.

Euronews, in turn, writes that the reason for the demonstrations was a video that appeared on social networks, which captures police officers rudely treating a shepherd whose sheep wandered into the local administration building.

Recall, the revolution in Tunisia began ten years ago due to the self-immolation of a street vendor, who was insulted by a police officer.

New riots began on Sunday after the 4:00 pm curfew imposed as part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Every day, actions of disobedience are becoming more widespread in Tunisia, and their geography is rapidly expanding.

Rioters erect barricades, set fire to tires, blocking roads, chanting slogans against the ruling government.

At the same time, groups of young people, whose age, according to security officials, does not exceed 25 years, beat shop windows, cars standing on the street, and also rob government agencies and financial organizations.

Tunisian authorities have deployed the national army in several provinces of the country to protect government institutions and combat riots.

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