Sunday, January 23, 2011

TUNISIA - The "caravan of freedom" under the windows of the Prime Minister Ghannouchi

The protesters are still demanding the resignation of the transitional government which included relatives of Ben Ali. Demonstrators came from poor rural areas have flocked Sunday to Tunis to demand that the caciques Plan Zine Ben Ali are excluded from power. Eight days after the departure of the country's former president, who has reigned supreme on Tunisia for 23 years, protesters demanding the resignation of all those connected with the former regime and contained within the new management team , starting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi. The latter, since 1999 head of government, held Friday night to stand out from the ousted president, saying in a television interview that "like all Tunisians," he "was scared" during the reign of Ben Ali and his party, the Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD), then all-powerful.
To appease the spirits, Ghannouchi has promised to leave politics after the next election, the government has promised to hold as soon as possible. For several days, protesters gather in downtown Tunis at the offices of head of government, a presence tolerated by law enforcement. Televisions broadcast pictures Saturday of fraternization between demonstrators and police. Sunday, the third and final day of national mourning in memory of victims of the "revolution of Jasmine" - which was 78 dead, according to the Government, 117, according to the UN - there are hundreds of participants the "caravan of freedom," from the countryside, who have gathered outside the offices of head of government.
"We have nothing"
Among them were many people in the region of Sidi Bouzid, a town 300 kilometers south of Tunis, where the suicide last month of a young unemployed graduate, Bouazizi Mohammed was the trigger for the uprising. "We are marginalized. Our land belongs to government, we, we do nothing," said one of them, Mahfouz Chouki, while protesters chanted slogans demanding the government collapsed. Kahli Amin, also from the region of Sidi Bouzid, said he came to pay tribute to Bouazizi and all victims of repression, including one of his brothers. "My brother was driving to work when he was shot. He was hit in the chest. He was barely 21 years. I want justice done and this government to go away."
Ghannouchi addition, several former RCD hierarchs have maintained key ministries such as Interior, Defence and Foreign Affairs. Personalities from the opposition parties were tolerated by Ben Ali had been invited to join the government to occupy less prominent positions, such as Advanced Education and Regional Development. Five of them have resigned twenty-four hours later. The Tunisian government announced that schools and universities reopen Monday and that sporting events, also suspended for a week, would resume soon. The night curfew remains in place. An independent commission was created by the government to investigate the role of security forces during the violence.
The Tunisian example could inspire people in other Arab countries face similar problems - unemployment, inflation and repression. In Yemen, the poorest of Arab States, hundreds of students demonstrated Sunday after the arrest of a militant anti-government Tawakoul Karman, who last week organized two events at the University of Sana'a against the autocratic regimes . Karman, who heads the local organization "Women Journalists without chains", had also called on Yemenis to support the Tunisian people.

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