Tunisia imposes nationwide curfew amid unrest

KASSERINE, Tunisia -- Tunisia imposed a nationwide overnight curfew Friday in response to growing unrest as protests over unemployment across the country descended into violence in some cities.

See Full Article

The week of increasingly violent demonstrations was triggered Sunday when a young man who lost out on a government job climbed a transmission tower in protest and was electrocuted. The suicide more than five years ago of another unemployed youth set off a popular uprising that overthrew Tunisia's longtime ruler and eventually gave rise to the "Arab Spring" uprisings across North Africa.

Tunisia built the only democracy to survive that movement, which spawned chaos elsewhere in the region. But the country's economy is foundering, and about one in three young people remains without work.

"Are we not Tunisians too? It's been four years I've been struggling. We're not asking for much, but we're fighting for our youth. We've struggled so much for them," said Leila Omri, the mother of an unemployed graduate in Kasserine.

A curfew from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. was declared because the attacks on public and private property "represent a danger to the country and its citizens," the Interior Ministry said.

Overnight into Friday, police stations came under attack and security officers used tear gas to repel protesters armed with stones and Molotov cocktails. In housing projects on the outskirts of the capital, Tunis, roving groups of young people pillaged a bank and looted stores and warehouses.

The previous night, a police officer died after protesters flipped his car, the government said.

Tunisia's prime minister, Habib Essid, cut short a visit to France to deal with the protests. Tunisia's unemployment stands around 15 per cent, but is 30 per cent among young people.

Tunisia has been under a state of emergency since a suicide bombing in November killed 12 members of the presidential guard in the heart of Tunis -- an attack that capped an unusually violent year for Tunisia. That bombing, as well as deadly attacks earlier in the year against the Bardo museum in Tunis and the tourist beach town of Sousse, were claimed by the Islamic State group.

In Paris just before leaving for home, Essid said the problem was not with democracy, but with the economy.

"We have a set of policies to try to solve this issue, which is one of this government's main challenges," he said after his meeting with the French president. "We don't have a magic wand. We can't solve the problem of unemployment in one go."

France promised aid worth 1 billion euros, much of it dedicated to inland regions far from the relatively glamorous coastal areas that include the resort of Sousse. But tourism, the main driver of Tunisia's economy, plummeted after last year's attacks, leaving even the coasts struggling.

"You want a solution? It's easy: give the people jobs, instead of pouring millions into Sousse," said Abid Khadhraoui, another unemployed graduate. "You had five years and nothing happened. All we want are jobs!"

Lori Hinnant and Jonathan Shenfield contributed from Paris.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Canadians' view of U.S. deteriorated under Trump: global survey

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadians’ views of their southern neighbour and their confidence in the U.S. president are at a 15-year low, according to a major new survey of public attitudes in 37 countries. According to results of the Pew Research Center survey, just 43 per cent of Canadians now have a positive view of the United States. Source
  • NHL free agency: Big names, bargains and busts

    Canada News CBC News
    When the NHL's annual unrestricted free agent derby begins on July 1, who should your favourite team target? A number of high-profile names could be available, but many of them are unlikely to move. Source
  • Record-breaking Canadian sniper should be celebrated, Trudeau says

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The record-breaking kill shot by a Canadian sniper in Iraq should be “celebrated,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, even as he insisted Canada’s mission in the battle-racked country remains a non-combat one. “What happened there is, first of all, something to be celebrated for the excellence of the Canadian Forces in their training, in the performance of their duties,” Trudeau told a news conference. Source
  • U.S. says Myanmar no longer among worst on human trafficking

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The United States asserted Tuesday that Myanmar is no longer one of the world's worst offenders on human trafficking, while removing both Myanmar and Iraq from a list of countries that use child soldiers. Source
  • Historic letter recalls time when Indigenous people were discouraged from 'excessive indulgence' in dancing

    Canada News CBC News
    When Sylvia McAdam posted a 95-year-old letter to Twitter, written by the former deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs, it went viral. That's because in the letter, Duncan Campbell Scott expressed alarm at the increasing rate of dancing on reserves and instructed department staff to use "tact" and "firmness" to "obtain control" and "dissuade the Indians from the excessive indulgence in the practice of dancing. Source
  • Mental-health expert meets with Cape Breton parents after suicides

    Canada News CTV News
    SYDNEY, N.S. -- A mental health expert dispatched to Cape Breton after three recent teen suicides says he's "gobsmacked" by the willingness of grieving parents to help other children and prevent similar deaths. Dr. Source
  • B.C. leading rise in private school enrolment across Canada

    Canada News CBC News
    More parents across Canada are choosing to send their children to private or independent schools, according to a new study from the Fraser Institute. The study found that every province recorded a decline in total K-12 enrolment between 2000–2001 to 2014–2015, except Alberta, which had an increase of 11.6 per cent. Source
  • Teen's sex attacker 'exhibits great potential': Judge

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, N.S. — A young aboriginal man who sexually assaulted a 16-year-old friend “exhibits great potential” despite a difficult upbringing and should not face a lengthy jail term, a Nova Scotia judge says. Judge James Chipman sentenced Davis Joseph Prosper to four months in jail in a decision the judge said took Prosper’s aboriginal status into account. Source
  • Toronto cop killer granted permission to travel to visit daughter

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The man found not criminally responsible for killing a Toronto police officer while driving a snowplow has been granted permission to travel up to 150 kilometres from his home in Ontario. The Ontario Review Board, which decides if and how not criminally responsible patients should be detained, has granted the leave for Richard Kachkar, who was deemed not criminally responsible for killing Sgt. Source
  • Royal pay hike: Queen to get a raise in 2018

    World News CTV News
    The Queen is about to get a raise, of sorts. The Sovereign Grant, which pays for the household salaries and official travel expenses of the Royal Family, will increase by eight per cent next year. Source