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10 years on, Tunisians protest government, corruption

The government ordered a total lockdown on Jan. 14. What should have been a celebration of 10 years of democracy turned into a clampdown under the pretext of COVID-19 sanitary measures. The country exploded in angry revolt with running battles with police in the burning nighttime streets of popular neighborhoods across Tunisia.

Jan. 14, 2021, should have been filled with the joyful celebrations of 10 years of democracy following the 2011 popular Jasmine Revolution that ousted President Zine Abedine Ben Ali. Instead, politicians currently in power who benefited from the revolution face the same anger and unrest from the children of that very revolution.

Winter is Tunisia’s traditional season of discontent. As 2021 began, the country was in an ugly mood. The Tunisian economy had shrunk by 9% in 2020, some industries such as tourism have been all but destroyed, while people have had to endure strict enforcement of curfews under the COVID-19 restrictions, rising food costs and unemployment. 

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