Government Scrambles to End the Crisis in Tunisia
The North Africa Journal : The people of Tunisia are angry as the death toll from government repression continues to rise. Stress is now being felt by the government like never before as a full-blow popular rebellion is underway. The first substantial political victim of these events is Rafik Belhaj Kacem, the Interior Minister who was sacked, according to Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi. The Premier also announced the pending release of all those jailed during the demonstrations.
Pressure on the government continues to mount both domestically, but also internationally. Meanwhile, the government announced the closing of school and universities for an undetermined period. On Saturday, trade union organization UGTT made a statement siding with the rioters. That's a direct departure from UGTT pro-government stance of the past. This perhaps shows that disagreements on how to handle the crisis are happening in governing circles. At the same time, a 50 year old merchant in Sidi Bouzid set himself on fire over the weekend for the same reasons as Mohamed Bouazizi did, which triggered these events.
In this audio podcast, Arezki Daoud and Alessandro Bruno hold an informal discussion on this topic, including Algeria and a brief comment on South Sudan elections. A second audio file is also posted with a BBC interview of Arezki Daoud on the Tunisian events. Click here to listen.