“Curfew…what curfew?” was the reply my neighbor gave me when I asked him how long did he think it would last. It appears that the curfew which was reinstated on May 7th is not being as widely enforced as previous ones…or so that’s how it appears to the average civilian. In fact if you walk through the streets at night you might not even know that there was curfew in place. In some places coffee shops and small convenience stores remain open into the late night hours and people continue to roam about freely. Yet, make no mistake about it; there is a curfew, but it’s more of a strategic curfew.
Since the newly imposed curfew, Tunisian security forces have arrested more than “600 individuals implicated in various crimes”. (Source: EnglishNew, 10 May 2011). Additionally, a total of 629 people have been arrested for “involvement in crimes such as robbery, assault and destruction of public and private property.
Who’s to blame for the escalation of violence and the return of scattered protests? In an interview on Sunday, Tunisian interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi blamed “secret forces”, without saying too much.
At least 4 people were killed in the acts of violence that plagued the capital during the weekend and since most of the violence took place in the Ettadhamen district in western Tunis, it’s important we know just where Ettadhamen is located.
Also known as At-Tadaman, Cite Ettadhamen is a town and commune in the Ariana Governorate of Tunisia. Cite Ettadhamen is considered one of the “poorest places in Tunis” (Source: People Forum, 8Mar 2011). In fact the violence and activities that took place in Ettadhmane last weekend was a major reason why the Tunisian authorities to declared the curfew. Ettadhamen, a district with high unemployment is located outside Tunis and is one of “several areas across the country that has been rocked with violence over the past several days (Source: Yahoo New, 8 May 2011).
Just to give you an idea about the population of Cite Ettadhamen, between the multiplicities of La Marsa, Carthage, and Sid Bou Said there are approxiamelty 111,090 residents and as of 2006 there were 118,486 residents residing within Cite Ettadhmanen.
To see exactly where Cite Ettadmanen is located click on this link…
Although it is unknown how long the curfew will remain in place, the interior and defence ministries in a statement carried by state media TAP, called on the population to “show civic duty and strong responsibility in order to help calm the situation and for its return to normal” (Source: RNW, 8 May 2011).
There are rumors of the curfew being pushed back to Midnight or perhaps it will be lifted all together. Perhaps, authorities will use this weekend to assess the situation and review the effectiveness of the curfew.
Untill then it is recommended to abide the curfew and continue to use extra vigilance in your day-to-day activities.
Safety doesn’t happen by accident. ~Author Unknown