Violent protests broke out on Saturday night in at least six Tunisian cities, including the capital Tunis and the coastal city of Sousse, witnesses and local media said, as anger mounts over economic hardship.
The demonstrations come as Tunisia marks the tenth anniversary of the revolution that toppled the late President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.
#Tunisia— th1an1 (@th1an1) January 16, 2021
Barricades, molotovs, fireworks and clashes with the police forces erupted in the working-class neighborhoods of northern #Tunis, as hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the lack of food and other essential items during #COVID19 lockdown. pic.twitter.com/rsClpFRKN2
The protests pose a challenge for the government of Hicham Mechichi, who reshuffled the cabinet, with new ministers including the Ministry of Interior, Justice and Energy.
Witnesses in Sousse said that security forces fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of angry protesters who blocked roads and burned tires.
Security sources said that young men in Sousse broke into shops. Clashes took place in the city Kalaa Kebira near Sousse.
A decade after the revolution against widespread unemployment, poverty, corruption and injustice, Tunisia made a smooth road towards democracy, but its economic situation worsened, with poor public services and the country became on the verge of bankruptcy.
Fourth night of tense protests in #Tunisia, around 300 arrests, and absolutely no reaction from any political party !— Mohamed-Dhia Hammami - محمد ضياء الهمامي (@MedDhiaH) January 17, 2021
Violent protests also took place in several areas of the capital, including Ettadamen, Mallassin and Fouchana and Sijoumi.
Violent protests tonight in #Tunisia in so many regions. Tear gas is being used and there are clashes between protesters and the police.— 6’1 IQ 71 (@carthadasht) January 16, 2021
2 days ago was the 10th anniversary of the revolution which worsened the country’s economy. pic.twitter.com/ITreVwi0QL