Tunisia: Kasserine uprising five years after revolution

Protests and clashes with police over unemployment

20 January, 10:39

    Protest in Kasserine Protest in Kasserine

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, JANUARY 20 - Social unrest has flared up again in Tunisia a few days from celebrations for the fifth anniversary of Ben Ali's ouster. The protest began after a young unemployed man, Ridha Yahyaoui last Saturday died in Kasserine after he climbed on an electricity pylon during a sit-in at which he had threatened to commit suicide. His name had been scrapped from a list of new hires drafted by the regional department for education.

    Hundreds of demonstrators over the past few days gathered in front of the governorate's offices to claim their right to work, with a break on Monday. Then yesterday, when they were banned from staging another sit-in in front of the governorate, they started hurling stones and clashing with security forces, sparking an uprising that widened across the city, forcing the interior ministry to declare a curfew in Kasserine from 6 pm until 5 am.

    Two demonstrators tried to kill themselves by jumping from the building's roof (they were saved by rescuers) while officers used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

    Many public buildings and stores were shut down and the army was deployed to protect the governorate's offices.

    A number of citizens joined demonstrations called by the jobless, complaining about the region's marginalization and demanding more transparency.

    Overall yesterday 23 were slightly injured, including four security officials and 246 people were forced to seek treatment after they inhaled tear gas. The region of Kasserine, not far from the border with Algeria, is among the least fortunate among Tunisia and it is where Mount Chambi, a jihadist stronghold, is located. Youth unemployment in the region reaches about 27% while the national unemployment average is 15.3%. (ANSAmed)

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