As reports continue to surface about the ongoing clashes between Tunisian security forces and protesters in the town of Siliana…it’s time we take a closer look at what’s going on.
The AFP reported that “More than 250 people were wounded on Wednesday in a second day of clashes between Tunisian security forces and thousands of protesters in a poor southwestern town”. It’s important to recognize that what’s happening in Siliana is a combination of various factors and may trigger greater unrest.
- Economic: chronic lack of development, high unemployment, high discontent
- Political: Discontent with current government: Many protesters called for the resignation of local officials, saying the authorities had failed to release development funds for their region.
Additionally, the protesters demand the following: “The liberation of 14 people detained during violent unrest in April 2011 and funds to boost economic development in the impoverished region, as well as the governor’s resignation.”
The last demand has the highest potential to escalate the situation further. It’s interesting to note that as “several thousand protesters turned out for a second day to call for the resignation of Ahmed Ezzine Mahjoubi, the governor of Siliana”, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali insisted in a brief television appearance that “this governor is not quitting.”
Obviously, now is not the best time to visit the southwestern region of Tunisia. It should be noted that on Wednesday a group of young men also “cut off the main road to Siliana to prevent the arrival of reinforcements”. Additionally, we can expect solidarity protests to take place in downtown Tunis.
More importantly let’s continue to follow the guideline concerning protests which states to:
“Avoid all forms of demonstration. While many protests pass without incident there is the possibility of injury if you are caught up in a demonstration that does not remain peaceful. If you become aware of any nearby violence you should leave the area immediately…”
Stay informed of the developments by:
- Checking the Tunisia Security Update Facebook Page
- Following us on Twitter
- Sharing information via contacts & friends
- Situational Awareness
- Reviewing your news sources
Let’s continue to share info & keep each other informed.